She and I on a bench eating prawns: the first day of her fiftieth year and she points at two street performers about to juggle fire, and a distant summer morning surfaces, afloat on the light wind blowing off the bay—older sisters in the dark, hiding as big brother parades around the house his hands outstretched clutching large candles I'm on a search! he shouts, marching from room to room till he finds them huddling in a jungle of clothes, beacons flickering as flame- hot wax begins to flow across his fingers... while she is walking to Centro Adulto, her head brimming with phrases: the words she needs so she can quit sewing, land a job in a bank; and the sitter arriving minutes late, finding us wet and trying to save a coat, a shirt, a dress—it's a small one: nothing the green hose and frantic assembly-line of buckets doesn’t eventually douse, leaving walls and curtains the color of coal—¡Mira! she gasps her left hand rapping my shoulder, still pointing with the right as the torches, from one juggler to the other, begin to fly for my mother (1932-1997)
Francisco Aragón is the author of Glow of Our Sweat (Scapegoat Press, 2010) and Puerta del Sol (Bilingual Review Press, 2005). He is the director of Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Date Published: 2000-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/jugglers