Ode to My Grandmother

We sit together
at the wooden table
in the house grandpa’s father built,
made of concrete.
It’s cold,
but your presence warms me.
I play music from
the Mexican tradition:
Rancheras.
You smile
because listening
to Vicente Fernandez, to Juan Gabriel, to Paco Michel
brings back memories.
Memories of happier times,
simpler days,
your youth.

I watch you
as we listen.
The spark in your eyes
brings tears
of joy
of sorrow
of neglect.
I hug you
and whisper,
as if to say,
“It’s okay,
I am here.
Grandpa may be gone,
but his legacy lives on.
In me,
in you,
in all of us.
Yes, in
your kids,
your grandkids,
and great grandkids too.”

You are the matriarch
of our family.
Your name means:
dry.
In the origin of
Ancient Greek.
Because your shrubbery grows
in dry soil and
is often sweet-scented.
Let your
white flowering
continue to flourish
to ten, to fifteen, to twenty
feet high.
For without you,
we couldn’t be nigh — 
sheltered in your embrace.