Half Drunk Muse Poetry

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Myth by Melanie Rivera

Grandmother was a bent back broom
that knew just enough English
to curse a river to sand
and enough Santeria
to draw blood from a blade of grass.

She loved three of her sons—the eldest
who shipped himself off to Kuwait
first chance he got,
Junior who dropped off the Earth
like a penny from the Empire State,
And my father who died without a degree
his daughters or his natural teeth.

When I was born Thomas Rivera
was sent back to Grandmother
for selling cocaine in the back room
of our one-bedroom apartment.
The man who took his dinner plate
prayed to a ceramic Indian
when the sky turned black.

Milagros never burned my mother
with a black rosary or a bleeding charm
though her last spell broke my stepfather’s Indian
and scattered its shadows all over our house.
For weeks we could hear a hum in the cabinets
terrifying, all the more, in its distance.

View bio for Melanie Rivera Published in Spring and Summer 2005

About HDM

Half Drunk Muse was one of the first poetry ezines. It was founded in 1999 and ceased publication in 2006.

Questions/comments? Email samiller@halfdrunkmuse.com.