Wednesday, March 17, 2010
My Mother’s Relatives
I can remember visiting my dad’s family every weekend
but my mother’s family was more of a mystery.
There was Aunt Josie, of course, we saw her during the week,
and on occasion we visited Aunt Margaret in Arizona
and even a few times we traveled to Quemado
to see her father, who abandoned her after her mother’s death.
He seemed nice enough, a small man with green eyes
and white teeth, always smiling,
now living with his second family.
Uncle Antonio, raised my mother after her father left.
and all I recall is a short fat man who lived
with his short fat wife and an even fatter sister-in-law.
They sat in a dark, foul smelling house
and as kids, we always came inside to say hello,
then ran out to the sunshine.
We were eager to take a breath away from the man
who beat my mother when she was a teenager.
I wondered why she bothered to visit him
and why did she bring us along?
I remember when we got word of his passing,
we were in California at the time.
I was surprised when she cried
and asked her if she was sad.
“No," she said, "I’m glad he is finally gone.”
We never spoke about him again after that.