A Planted Scar
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.