Photograph of a Latina mother and daughter.

POETRY: MI MADRE

by Bianca Santiago


There she goes again
a part of her unfulfilled
drowning in pain and sorrow
frantically searching the places she walked
with her boys
beautiful dark long curly hair
swaying behind her
as the sun
hits her gorgeous tan face.

The one she had after me in 1977
almost her spitting image.
The youngest
a mix of all the ancestors before him.
She searches for them
through the years finds them
and sees only emptiness in their eyes
from all the lies
they have been spoon-fed.
Their stares like daggers stabbing
a hole in her bosom
leaving behind a gaping hole
in her heart.

How can a man she once loved
be so malicious
and cause her so much pain
when all she did him was good.
While I
her eldest child
feel like
Alice in Wonderland
looking through the looking glass
not knowing
how to fix or comfort
my Mom
my first
most loved
being.

I pray
for serenity
clarity in her being
the biggest desire of her heart
to have her boys back
wool removed from their eyes
to see the truth.
Morbidly as more and more time passes
the poison
fed in my brothers minds in childhood
seeps into
the nooks and crannies
of their minds
cementing in place
my dear sweet mother’s dream
of having her boys back
an impossible dream.
And I / the oldest
will always have
just a remnant
of what my vivacious
Latina Mom was
before my brothers
were ripped
from her loving bosom
before women had rights
and this was a man’s world.


Bianca Santiago was born in the concrete jungle of Brooklyn, NY to Puerto Rican parents. She and her mother came to Seattle to escape domestic violence in 1986. Bianca has worked for the past 7 years at Maple Elementary as a bilingual instructional assistant. She has two grown sons.

📸 Featured Image: Photo courtesy of Bianca Santiago.

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