Musings of My Father

Written in the bilingüe style of Rhina P. Espaillat



I wonder whether my father, 

proud and stubborn

(orgulloso y testarudo),

ever snuck a peek 

at the poetry I wrote 

for his mother (su madre,

mi Tita) just to "echarle un vistazo"

at the mind's machinations 

of his daughter, a gringa,

lost in the expanse of América,

but not foreign to her roots,

“su lengua” filling her mouth

with syllabic beauty and rhythmic

colloquialism where everything

seems so nice (todo tuanis)

on paper, and life is not as distant

as a granddaughter to her Tita.



I wonder whether my father

felt dismissed (rechazado)

when the letters came to her 

and not to him; a taste 

of his own medicine, perhaps?

(¿quizas?).  Or whether he was

afraid of me, the pen my weapon 

of choice, "mis palabras" like threats

that triggered fear of revelation,

or condemnation; none of which

had ever crossed my mind or that

ever tainted my page. It was just

simple poetry that had graced 

each line with appreciation

(te aprecio, Tita) and the love

that time or space could not deter.


And I wonder whether my father,

"mi viejo," in his venerable age, 

and years after divorce and separation 

had abraded the fibrous vellum 

of our relationship, whether 

he misses me as much as I miss him 

when I write about us in these 

fragile stanzas of poetry.

This poem is about: 
My family


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