ANGEL WITH A GUM

By Rosalva Ruiz

It was back in 1986 when my family was involved in a car accident. There was a bus full of people who helped us get out of our truck and laid us on the road. Although my vision was blurred by red stains, I saw her, my angel with a gum.

She may not know that she and it kept me mentally stable while watching my unconscious mom on my side covered in blood. On my other side, my sister trying to cover her pain with her arm on her eyes, biting her lower lip, laying there, as her legs were covered in blood as well. People surrounding us, whispering in disbelief as if we were some freak show from a roadside circus. And my red blurry eyesight that stung as I was watching it all.

She may not know that with this little piece of gum, she showed me the empathy from a stranger that I thought was long lost.

She may not know that thanks to this little piece of mint, I was able to breathe while my headache lessened and washed the iron taste in my mouth.

She may not know that it was thanks to her that I let the police officers take me and my sister into their car. It was thanks to that gum that I sat without a fuss while the doctor stitched my forehead.

And the most important of all, it was thanks to that gum that I did not despair when a doctor took me into his arms to see my shocked mom screaming, “Where are my daughters?!”
This invisible me in her eyes understood her state; yet I still cried while chewing that gum.

I have always wanted to say thank you; however, I don’t even know her name or where she is. The only thing I know is… The bow in her blouse made me think of angels wings.

Hopefully this time with this anecdote I can finally say,
“Thank you, my angel with a gum.”

* This is an anecdote I wrote for the “Mcallen Public Library Anecdote Day Contest.”

It will be held on July 5th, 2020 If anybody is interested on participating here is the link.

Y la Llorona se enamoró

Cuenta la leyenda
Que su alma
Anda en pena
Que a gritos implora
El regreso de sus hijos.
Tantas versiones
Por ahí se comentan
Que hasta a los infieles
Su camino al infierno
Se los lleva
Con su voz seductora
Como una sirena.

Quien iba a pensar
Que con la cuarentena
Los infieles no salen de casa.

Tanto tiempo a pasado
Que ya se ha desesperado
Y un día, salio cuando el sol
Estaba todavía.
Y un hombre caminando
Paso a su orilla.
Con su canto de gloria
Le pidió ayuda
Mas este buen mozo
Con lentes obscuros
Cual estrella del cielo
Y de la tierra
Siguió en su camino.

La llorona desconcertada
Y anonadada
Se quedo plasmada
Cuestionando su belleza.

Como tal nagual
juró que el día siguiente
Embelleciéndose
Un suspiro le robaría.
Despues de todo
con sus dotados tesoros
Solo un ciego
La ignoraría.

Decidió llegar mas temprano
Despues de varias horas
El humano no ha pasado
Mas ella arraigada se ha quedado.

Pasaron las horas
Mas la estrella ni sus luces
Pasaron los días
Y ella esta que sufre.

Pasaron varios hombres
Y su tarea se le a olvido
Añorando al hombre de gafas
Que un algún día había pasado.

La llorona suspira
Mas no sabe que es por amor
Piensa que es por venganza
Es solo otro que se lleva al corralón.

Y la espera la desespera
Mas sigue ahí parada
Con la mirada perdida.

Y una noche de lluvia
Pasa el hombre
Que ha volado su locura
Ella con ternura
Extiende su mano
Lo agarra de su manga
Y le implora
Que le regrese su cordura.

El con desden
sacudió con desafan
Y al hacerlo
Al suelo fue a dar.

Las gafas 
Lejos fueron a dar
Y la llorona entristecida
Por fin
Sus ojos puede mirar.

Cual gardenia al parecer
Sus ojos blanquiscos
Sin poder ver.

Aturdido por lo acontecido
El bello hombre
Se encuentra en el césped
En busca de sus gafas
Balbucea sin poder hablar.

La llorona al mirarlo
Lo quizo ayudar
Le toco su mano
Y la levanto a su cara
Acintio su cara y sonrió.
A lo cual el hombre
Por fin cedió.

Y desde ahí su historia empezó
El tronco hueco de su espalda
Por fin sanó.

Por fin encontró a un amado
Al cual le da su cuidado
Y del cual también es amada.

Sin belleza, 
Sin seducción
Sin miedo
Ni venganza
Por fin a encontrado el amor.Cuenta la leyenda
Que su alma
Anda en pena
Que a gritos implora
El regreso de sus hijos.
Tantas versiones
Por ahí se comentan
Que hasta a los infieles
Su camino al infierno
Se los lleva
Con su voz seductora
Como una sirena.

Quien iba a pensar
Que con la cuarentena
Los infieles no salen de casa.

Tanto tiempo a pasado
Que ya se ha desesperado
Y un día, salio cuando el sol
Estaba todavía.
Y un hombre caminando
Paso a su orilla.
Con su canto de gloria
Le pidió ayuda
Mas este buen mozo
Con lentes obscuros
Cual estrella del cielo
Y de la tierra
Siguió en su camino.

La llorona desconcertada
Y anonadada
Se quedo plasmada
Cuestionando su belleza.

Como tal nagual
juró que el día siguiente
Embelleciéndose
Un suspiro le robaría.
Despues de todo
con sus dotados tesoros
Solo un ciego
La ignoraría.

Decidió llegar mas temprano
Despues de varias horas
El humano no ha pasado
Mas ella arraigada se ha quedado.

Pasaron las horas
Mas la estrella ni sus luces
Pasaron los días
Y ella esta que sufre.

Pasaron varios hombres
Y su tarea se le a olvido
Añorando al hombre de gafas
Que un algún día había pasado.

La llorona suspira
Mas no sabe que es por amor
Piensa que es por venganza
Es solo otro que se lleva al corralón.

Y la espera la desespera
Mas sigue ahí parada
Con la mirada perdida.

Y una noche de lluvia
Pasa el hombre
Que ha volado su locura
Ella con ternura
Extiende su mano
Lo agarra de su manga
Y le implora
Que le regrese su cordura.

El con desden
sacudió con desafan
Y al hacerlo
Al suelo fue a dar.

Las gafas 
Lejos fueron a dar
Y la llorona entristecida
Por fin
Sus ojos puede mirar.

Cual gardenia al parecer
Sus ojos blanquiscos
Sin poder ver.

Aturdido por lo acontecido
El bello hombre
Se encuentra en el césped
En busca de sus gafas
Balbucea sin poder hablar.

La llorona al mirarlo
Lo quizo ayudar
Le toco su mano
Y la levanto a su cara
Acintio su cara y sonrió.
A lo cual el hombre
Por fin cedió.

Y desde ahí su historia empezó
El tronco hueco de su espalda
Por fin sanó.

Por fin encontró a un amado
Al cual le da su cuidado
Y del cual también es amada.

Sin belleza, 
Sin seducción
Sin miedo
Ni venganza
Por fin a encontrado el amor.Cuenta la leyenda
Que su alma
Anda en pena
Que a gritos implora
El regreso de sus hijos.
Tantas versiones
Por ahí se comentan
Que hasta a los infieles
Su camino al infierno
Se los lleva
Con su voz seductora
Como una sirena.

Quien iba a pensar
Que con la cuarentena
Los infieles no salen de casa.

Tanto tiempo a pasado
Que ya se ha desesperado
Y un día, salio cuando el sol
Estaba todavía.
Y un hombre caminando
Paso a su orilla.
Con su canto de gloria
Le pidió ayuda
Mas este buen mozo
Con lentes obscuros
Cual estrella del cielo
Y de la tierra
Siguió en su camino.

La llorona desconcertada
Y anonadada
Se quedo plasmada
Cuestionando su belleza.

Como tal nagual
juró que el día siguiente
Embelleciéndose
Un suspiro le robaría.
Despues de todo
con sus dotados tesoros
Solo un ciego
La ignoraría.

Decidió llegar mas temprano
Despues de varias horas
El humano no ha pasado
Mas ella arraigada se ha quedado.

Pasaron las horas
Mas la estrella ni sus luces
Pasaron los días
Y ella esta que sufre.

Pasaron varios hombres
Y su tarea se le a olvido
Añorando al hombre de gafas
Que un algún día había pasado.

La llorona suspira
Mas no sabe que es por amor
Piensa que es por venganza
Es solo otro que se lleva al corralón.

Y la espera la desespera
Mas sigue ahí parada
Con la mirada perdida.

Y una noche de lluvia
Pasa el hombre
Que ha volado su locura
Ella con ternura
Extiende su mano
Lo agarra de su manga
Y le implora
Que le regrese su cordura.

El con desden
sacudió con desafan
Y al hacerlo
Al suelo fue a dar.

Las gafas 
Lejos fueron a dar
Y la llorona entristecida
Por fin
Sus ojos puede mirar.

Cual gardenia al parecer
Sus ojos blanquiscos
Sin poder ver.

Aturdido por lo acontecido
El bello hombre
Se encuentra en el césped
En busca de sus gafas
Balbucea sin poder hablar.

La llorona al mirarlo
Lo quizo ayudar
Le toco su mano
Y la levanto a su cara
Acintio su cara y sonrió.
A lo cual el hombre
Por fin cedió.

Y desde ahí su historia empezó
El tronco hueco de su espalda
Por fin sanó.

Por fin encontró a un amado
Al cual le da su cuidado
Y del cual también es amada.

Sin belleza, 
Sin seducción
Sin miedo
Ni venganza
Por fin a encontrado el amor.

Spring break of March

Back when the day stopped
In March our world had a break
We stopped and breathed
And others stopped their breaths.

A march was on the way
Of no hugs in display
The love was in the air
Yet disease was also there

Unconscious walls were built
The unseen were feared
Robbed we were
Violated as well

The gods were no where
The scientists were busy
The teachers were learning
The kids were struggling.

It was left open
Our lady is broken
Her flame is gone
Nowhere to be found.

Alone in distance
In distance we face our whole
And the earth is healed along.

The extinct are now seen
There is a new color to the eye
A new horizon is in sight.

The forgotten letter

I still remember when my dad got a hold
Of my third love letter. He decided to encrust it on a piece of wood.
Of course the deed didn’t end there, to embellish it, he wrote,”Hija de tigre, pintito.” Which is a proverb that simply means “The daughter is like her mother” of course, he meant it playfully. 
There is a saying in english that means the same with different words.
” the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

On top of that, there were little flowers around it and a small heart on the bottom. I was so embarrassed and didn’t understand the love that my dad put into making that piece of art.
I was barely six, so if you see horrors in my grammar and spelling, you can imagine how it was back then (terrible).
Now… back then, in the middle of our home, dad had a small canteen. There were sculptures all around, from a David to a Moses, he also had some wooden sculptures, most of the wooden ones were either from animals or people from different ethnic groups in Mexico; and of course, just entering the place, that maybe 20-year-old-round piece of wood was hung for everybody to see. He was so proud of it that if people didn’t pay attention to it, he would tell them about it. Of course, at those same moments my embarrassment skyrocketed. 

Now days I laugh about it, but back then it was a thorn piercing my ego. I used to believe in the element spirits, I still do, but back then it was like a law. Somehow, I believed that by throwing my love letter to the ground in front of my house, the wind spirit would use its wind to take it to my beloved one. I do wonder who actually got to see those two letters before the third one. This third one was written on a memo pink paper with my mom’s business logo. I barely finished it, but my mom called me and I forgot it in my dad’s canteen; Hence the all the dilemma afterwards.

The last time I got to see my dad and was actually able to talk to him, I asked him why did he do that with the letter?
He started smiling and said, “It was the first time I saw you write a sentence. It made me proud.” I didn’t get it back then, I guess at 15 years old, one doesn’t understand the deep meaning of things.
However, now days, whenever I remember that forgotten letter, it fills my heart with joy and makes me cry.

Finally free

As she was saying goodbye
The car kept moving
Her eyes kept drifting
To the past memories
The knot in her throat
Asphyxiated her soul
Barely twelve
And she’s set her goal.

“It’s finally here,
I’ve waited for twelve years
I’m finally free!
Free from him
Free from them
Free from those shackles.”

Tears ran down her face
As if shedding her fears
Leaving behind that fake
And dark world.

“My body
finally belongs to me
Not another day
Will I have to say ok
I’m finally…”

She closed her wet honey eyes
And knocked her head on the window
As if knocking monsters away.
Sighed, cleaned her face
And with determination
Faced her future ahead.

Queen of the jungle

Have you ever driven with four kids? Just to give you an idea
As soon as I start driving, the two-year old starts crying
“Please, teta, teeetaaa!” Somehow I grab the backpack from the backseat
Prepare the bottle while driving with my knee
Yes my knee, and pass it to him stretching my arm to the back.

“Mom! Oh no! I’m dying!”  My sixteen year old screams.
Of course, he means in the game, IN THE GAME!
Then again, by inertia, I turned my head as he leans
He is next to me playing again
“Easy there,” I tell myself, breathe 
Reasons, there’s too many, starting with four.
Soon after, there’s a scream from the backseat

“Dude, chill,” my seven-year old tells my 4-year-old
And he keeps screaming for God knows what 
Yet my seven-year old covers his ears and yells “mom, tell him to stop!”

“Breathe”, I tell myself again while turning off the music
Listen boys, if you all don’t stop it now
Even your dinner will go to the sink
So, do you think they listened? Of course not!
Screaming and yelling, of course my two-year old after finishing his bottle joins the chorus
Inspiring enough to think that this is a jungle. Monkeys, exotic bird and even cicadas
Nothing out of the ordinary… “Breathe,” and finally an idea popped up.
“Guys if you keep at it, there won’t be any nintendo switch for the weekend.”
Silence… Finally no buzzing, no humming nor chirping, for how long? Who knows? let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

That which is like sand

Some say that time never stops
But I believe otherwise
Time defines our surroundings
But not our belongings.

It is wise
It gives us what we need
Sometimes to heal
Others to think.

For sure
it will teach us to live
To some, it comes in a breeze
To others, it comes after a slap.

It defines a new life
It seems long to some
At least to those yearning
Yet it is so short
To those transcending.

I guess it’s just there
To warn us
To guide us
To give us that push
But above all
To give us a sense
Of direction in our lives.

Creator or Maker?

From creation to cremation
Life, the core itself
Is full of iffies
Love becomes a goal for some
Others prefer serenity in their lives

Then there’s excellency
Which some reach
With tears and despair
And for others
Is like breeze in the air
The most natural thing on earth

Then again,
there are some
That have to fend for themselves
With no studies
Just the grace of God and will.

Although
the path at the beginning
is the same
Somehow with luxuries of the mind
From the bigger generation
Or lack of thereof
Marks the boost in creativity
Of the young fellows.

Then, like a diamond in the rough
If you use whichever tool
The cut won’t be precise
The diamond would be
Of poor quality use.

Now, if you got
another good diamond
You can make the most
Exquisite cuts
The best rainbow look
Not to mention
Higher price in the market.

But let’s not forget
Those loners
Wolves
leaders
Of them all.

Which makes one wonder
Is The Creator
the maker
of it’s creation?
Or is the maker,
the creator
of it’s creation?

Secret

There is a hidden story within my heart
That nobody has been able to touch
This secret sometimes feels like a ghost.

Sometimes it’s quiet
Other times it becomes a thriller
It’s all racket and showy
Mysterious with no end
Just a continuation.

Other times it’s the sunset
Of one’s life
It’s also the glory and bliss
Of that miraculous first breath.

This secret of mine
That’s precious and dangerous
This poison ivy
That’s tangled in my body
That itches
That’s too beautiful
That bleeds
And self heals.

This dirty and crazy secret
That’s part of my innocence
Yet…

Yes, this crazy little story of mine…

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