Read Interview with Candelaria Silva-Collins HERE
My Saige – My First Copyright 2020 by Candelaria Norma Silva I see you first; I see you emerge and begin. I see you running to me as a toddler Your broad smile and unbridled enthusiasm I see you laying your head on my shoulder on the Ashmont train The gentleman across the way joyfully proclaimed: Aren’t grands the best? Yes! I see you climbing on every ledge as we walk up the hill Jumping from ledge to steps And around bushes that occasionally interrupt. The drudgery of the hill vanishes because of your energy I walk faster, too. You! I see how beautifully colors look on the warm brown canvass of your skin Everything has to match: socks, shoes, ribbons Each summer your legs get longer, Your questions bolder, your curiosity stronger Why this, why not that, can we, Grandi, can we? Yes! Every summer your hair changes Now a wardrobe of beads or bows, now crazy curls when you cut your locs, One day straightened, you almost break your neck as you flip it all around. Then back natural and dyed bright red at the top (I can’t believe your mother let you do that!) Stop! Saige you’ve aged to two digits, you’ll never be a single digit again You are quieter now You hold my hand but you don’t run toward me, you stride pass the ledges You don’t bring your dolls when you visit You don’t smile because of your braces. No! And now you’re a teen Crossing the bridge from girl to woman Your body becomes seen What will teen mean for you? Can I keep you hidden though you are in plain sight? Please? I want you to know how much I cherish you, How terrific you are; how talented I carry you with me. I want you to never undervalue yourself, To know that even in these times when we don’t know what might happen next… What? You can be sure of my love, my commitment, my protection and prayer, my acceptance even when I push you to do more My house is forever your home. It is your sanctuary, your refuge, your vacation, your break. You are loved, cherished, treasured, adored, admired, cheered, supported, elevated, and increased You! My first and forever Saige. If Only It Had Rained by Candelaria N. Silva It doesn’t really matter that you were young, lively, kind. A mischievous smile and quick to laugh. It doesn’t matter that you pulled pranks and stayed behind to help clean-up, that you had plans, that you were primed for the future. It doesn’t matter that you were loved that you had the family and the village that you were vital, vigorous, male. It doesn’t much matter that you studied, did your chores, let your parents know where you were, that in fact you often stuck close to home. Perhaps if you had gone to that other cookout or had been the type to lay in the house or with a girlfriend all day perhaps then you would still be here – but it is not right to say such things for they seem to blame you and you were not to blame. You did not aim, point, shoot into a crowd at a summer backyard barbecue. Still, we need someone to blame, something to satisfy our need to know Why you, why now, why ever? I blame the sun for shining, the summer for coming. I indict poverty, violence, the way things just are. You were killed on a sunny Sunday, One Sunday later, it rained and rained, so I blame the vagaries of the weather ‘cause if had rained on that particular June Sunday you would still be alive.