‘My Spanish isn`t good enough’
I remember how I`d smile
Listening my little ones
Understanding every word they´d say,
Their jokes, their songs, their plots
Vamos a pedirle dulces a mama. Vamos.
But that was in Mexico.
Now my children go to American High Schools.
They speak English. At night they sit around the
Kitchen table, laugh with one another.
I stand at the stove and feel dumb, alone.
I bought a book to learn English.
My husband frowned, drank more beer.
My oldest said, ‘Mama, he doesn´t want you to
Be smarter than he is’ I´m forty,
Embarrased at mispronouncing words,
Embarrased at the laughter of my children,
The grocery, the mailman. Sometimes I take
My English book and lock myself in the bathroom,
Say the thick words softly,
For if I stop trying,
I will be deaf when my children need my help.’