She

She

by Ilene Arevalo

Brown eyes, brown skin, brown hair.
Pupusas, rice, and beans with tortillas.
“Vany eres mi Corazon de melon.” She says.
Organizes her calendar to know when her income will come.
Blue jeans, ripped shirt, and a cooking apron.
Sings to Jose Jose and Willie Colon.
Brown bags, Clorox bleach, and Windex inside her trunk.
Pan dulce with black coffee in the mornings.
Endless dancing when she cooks.

“Vany ya esta lista la comida,” she says.
Comes home to cook dinner and eats last.
Unconditional love for all her children.
But Vany is different.
Vany is her world.

She tortured her to memorize multiplication tables in third grade.
She didn’t let her have a T.V in her room.
She gave her an early curfew.
She gave her extra homework to learn Spanish better.
She showed her how to change the tire and oil in her car.
She never let her walk in the rain to school.
She bought her everything she could afford.

Brown eyes, brown skin, brown hair,
Long nights, long sacrifices, and longing for more.
She pushed her to read more books.
She pushed her to go to college.
She made her a woman.
Gracias mama.

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