A Planted Scar
By Janet Rojas Vazquez
I dedicate this poem to my mom, Ana Vazquez. She sacrificed so much to help me become the woman I am. Even when we aren’t together, I know she’s giving me strength.
I was four years old When my mom went to the grocery store And didn’t come back. I am from the red roses my mom left me That my abuelita told me to cherish. I save them inside my soul. I was born to a little girl playing with her doll Dressing her up And braiding her hair. I am from “don’t come looking all messy and dirty” In a big house with ten rooms Where my toys are everywhere. I grew up climbing mango trees Looking for the green fruits With the sour taste. I was raised by my abuelita Who believed in la llorona And stories of men stealing young girls. I was left with my mother’s memories That she planted in the backyard before she moved to New York. I was told not to open the box Where my mother put a tea party And the dolls she bought for me. I am from neighbors blasting corridos, Drinking cold cervezas, Making carne asada that you can smell blocks away. I can hear my abuelita saying “Don’t do this, don’t touch that” And that she would die if I left her. I was nurtured by Virgen de Guadalupe Who told me that my mom was coming To get me in a dream.
Janet Rojas Vazquez is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Brooklyn, NY.