Our Daily Bread
To receive life with joy,
that mix of suffering and love,
goes to the axis of prayer spinning
around the scared center.
Different from happiness,
that mixture of luck and lust,
joy declares thanks for the flowing
of blood through the topography
and heights of the body,
and for the breath filling our necks
with the air made of gases
of stars long age dead,
but alive in the cells of
our skin and bone.
Take the memory of the funeral
of my abuelita, my grandmother.
The man-tears of uncle Tito, too
much for him to handle, came
hard to the guy we all knew
as so strong and happy.
My mother, my aunts, her daughters
and my uncle Tito, her son, becoming
orphans, as destiny dictates.
Bitter at the loss, and lost
in remembering, they mourned.
I prayed to Jesus to receive
my abuelita's spirit in front of them,
the ritual of grandchildren,
funeral homes and Masses.
I recited a poem by her favorite
poet, Pablo Neruda that sung
of fallen light, wells of darkness
and of patience in fishing for the light.
The black of their clothes
brought no comfort. But
remembering the stories of her life
made her alive. Suffering and life
mixed in our narrative
and she lived in her absence,
such joy. Joy reciting the story
in a tone of thanks.