a poetry e-zine










Poems By Melinda Turner
The Day Abuela Died

Nuyorican cousins flew from all over-
prodigal sons and daughters
returning to their little green island,
twenty plus years etched on slightly worn
faces and midlife bodies.

at the funeral home
solemn and quiet,
alone or in groups of two or three
they walked up
to the open casket.

arms linked together
they gazed down at her-
small and shrunken
face heavily made up
her smile

afterward they gathered
at the peach casita
with the iron grill cased windows,
sat around laughing/crying telling stories
looked at her wall full of
bleached out colored photos

fanned themselves
straightened out crooked pictures
and swatted at stray cucarachas,
ate some arroz y abichuelas
with chicken and sweet plantains.

then someone cranked up the
salsa music and they
swirled and laughed like they used to do
back in the Bronx during New Year’s
when someone would eventually
fall drunk on his face,

and that night they drove
to old San Juan and danced
at the 80’s hole-in-the wall
till every ounce of sweat
poured out of them
rising with the humidity and the mangoes
and they knew she was laughing.

When not walking on the beach, Melinda Figueroa-Turner teaches English at an international language school and Spanish at an after school enrichment program. She is a graduate of California State University San Marcos in Literature and Writing. Her greatest works of art are her three children. She is a first time writer who would love to have her poems published by her next birthday.

Copyright 2009  Chantarelle's Notebook