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Jíbarismos

Judy Vásquez     1978

 

Last night
wrapping pasteles
my daughter asked
"Why do we have to do this?"
"It is hard work!"
"To keep culture alive" I said.
Water it
let it root deep
like mami and grandma did
on nochebuena holidays
wrapping it
like the pasteles in banana leaves.

That night
two large pots of masa and meat
too big for the fridge
slept on my porch.
I was up three times worrying
thinking it all might spoil.

¡Olvidate!
Nature too keeps the jíbarito
alive and well in El Paso.
In the morning
a blanket of snow
cooled the pots on the porch.

This evening
green smoke
steams the window glass,
bits of achiote burst
to the rhythm of Tito Puente,
The pasteles dance in the pot.


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