Her hands are sturdier than her words
they lack hesitation
They move the same
As the ones that came before them
Information passed without words, lessons learned
Crush the garlic, use the flat side of the knife
And when you cut open the onion
It is acceptable to shed
But do not brush them away. Let them drip off your chin and fall into the pot.
Instead of shedding more, smile, and
Sort the beans.
There are certain things we do not speak of.
Leave the pot to simmer,
4 hours—maybe more. Don’t look at the clock.
The beans will be done when
The frown lines between her eyes are relaxed. When
Her hands can sit still without
After dinner, bellies full, her hands will rub lullabies onto my back;
they dance a known path, they move the same
As the ones that came before them.
they tell the stories of the past, every night the same stories until
their truth is worn onto my back.
My sister, moma, Mamá Mima,
That is how you know we are family
All our backs look the same.