Erica E. Garcia-Ginnett

Don't Tell Mama

Don’t tell Mama,

I don’t like Fideo.

Don’t tell Mama,

I don’t like her chicken, broccoli, and rice.

Don’t tell Mama,

I don’t want to cook like her.


Don’t tell Mama,

I don’t like talking with her.

Don’t tell Mama,

She’s the reason I have always thought I was fat.

Don’t tell Mama,

She’s the reason I have doubted myself for so long.


Don’t tell Mama,

I don’t understand why she called me a whore.

Don’t tell Mama,

I don’t understand why she can’t forgive me.

Don’t tell Mama,

I don’t understand why her love for me is conditional.


Don’t tell Mama,

I will not be like her.

Don’t tell Mama,

I will not listen to her.

Don’t tell Mama,

I know she is wrong.

Don’t tell Mama,

I’m writing this.

Don’t tell Mama,

Because I’ve tried to say these things before.

Don’t tell Mama.

She won’t listen and thinks I hate her.


Don’t tell Mama,

Sometimes I feel so void of her love, I cry.

Don’t tell Mama,

I’ve cried myself to sleep because of her.

Don’t tell Mama,

I’ve even screamed in agony.


Don’t tell Mama,

She may die without ever listening to me.

Don’t tell Mama,

But I desperately wish it weren’t this way.

Don’t tell Mama,

I will tell her I love her, myself.

Stuck in a Box

            “Hey!” he barks at me, “You mind shifting your elbow?”

            “I would if I could but I don’t really have the place to do it now do I?” I bite back.

            So many questions, I have so many questions.  First would be, how did I get in this box?  Second would be, is there a way to get out of this box?  I’d ask the second if I weren’t so stuck on the first.

            “We’re here because of you, you know that don’t you,” he put full blame to me.

            “Oh, yes,” I mock, “because this is what I want.”  I huff, but regret quickly now feeling the humidity encircle my head.

            “What do you want from me?” I grumble.

            I wish I could show more of my annoyance, but cocking my head would mean I would touch him more.

            “I’m here because you called me here,” he retorts.

            I sigh, “So, I guess that means we are supposed to talk?”

            He looks at me, “Yes, I suppose it does.”

            I nod, but I want him to speak first, so I’ll be saying nothing.

            My elbow is cramping and burns from being stuck in this one position.  My heart feels heavy, and my blood feels thick.  Ech!  It feels like my blood is flowing backwards!  My breath is so hot!  How much longer can I breathe in this box?

            “I don’t think you would have called me here and trapped us in a box if you didn’t have something you needed to say to me,” he stares at me.

            “I didn’t call you,” I try to clarify this to him.

            “Yes you did,” he insists, “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.  Now tell me what you need to tell me so we can get out of here.”

            I hesitate. I notice I am.  I still don’t want to do anything about it.

            “I still have nothing to say.”

            The lid of my box opens.

            “What are you doing in there?” she asks me.

            I sit up in my tattered moving box and cross my legs, “Just having some alone time.”


Texas Women

Thank the Lord, God

Evening comes with a blazing sunset;

Xerically raised cacti bend the horizon

And coyotes howl to each other as

Sections of each house rumble.

With the sound of children meant for their beds

Oh how happy

Mama would be if they’d sleep

Eating is done as Daddy comes home

Night is upon Texas women



            I’ve heard others say you whisper, but your words I hear are loud so far away in these fields.  I have not known you quite this way, Wind.  Not until now have I had much thoughts of you, but I know you now.  I know you are female, a women, without a doubt in my senses; Air must be your dear husband.  You are one and in the same as husband and wife, aren’t you?

            I know you are female; you carry words of others and beat the houses; you dry my sheets on lines and freshen my home.  Yes, a man could possibly do such things, your dear husband Air has it in him, but I know you are female; this is your role.

            Upon your streams you carry seeds and spread them far beyond my sight.  A woman you are indeed, for no man could fertilize this earth as you have.  Now not to say without man there would still be blooming life, but I merely state: this is your role.

            With fine hands, you bring men home.  Billow in their canvas clouds, cause them to come to port!  Unite these long spread from one another, and bind them into each other’s arm; this is the strength you have.

            Does he wish for me as I wish for him?

            Could you, dear Wind oh please, could you carry his voice to me?

            In the middle of this field, my kitchen windows are black.

            You are a woman, so don’t you understand my misery?  Take him my words and bring his, hear.

            Wind, I know you are woman.

            If you were stripped from Air, if he were wretched from your arms, what would be left of you?  No words.  No spreading of seeds.  No united loves.

            Wind, I know you are a woman.

            I know you are a woman, so take pity on me.  Take pity on my heart.

            Twist your hair ‘round him at his waist and lift him off his feet.  Chariot wings of fire bring the Savior, but we don’t need such grandeur.  Just bring him home to me, I am begging.

            Do not turn your back to me Wind, I can still hear you, you’re not far.  Take my request and full it.  Full it Wind!  I hear you speaking, why are you ignoring me?  Wind, your role is to spread seeds, you carry voices of people, and you push the sails to bring people together; why can’t you do these things for me?

            He’s not here, but you could bring him here, can’t you Wind?  You send all kinds of things across the world, can you not also transcend this space?  I have the faith in you to do it.  Couldn’t you just bring him here for a moment?  Wind, I’m asking you, pleading with you, to pull him here to me; pull any bit of him to me.

            Could I hear his voice one last time?

            Can you transcend space for that?

            Could you do it?

            What about my voice?  Can you take my voice to him?  Maybe that’s the only way it works.

            Could you take my voice to him, just a small message?  Please.  Just a small message:

            When I’m finished here, I will see you again.


© 2019 Tapestry, Annual TAMUK Women & Gender Studies Journal

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