To commemorate National Poetry month, here is the last of the four poems published in the Fall 2018 issue of Fifth Wednesday Journal.
La Virgen de San Juan del Vallewas my madrina.
She baptized me. Juan Diego stood in for Joseph.
She gave me candy and cookies whenever I visited.
She and Victor, her second husband, would take
my sisters and me to see movies. Her favorite
was “Around the World in Eighty Days”
because it featured Cantinflas and he made her
laugh even if he too spoke only English.
La Virgen went unnoticed until the lights were dimmed
and her halo began to glow in the darkened theater.
It was embarrassing and each time my sisters and I
swore we’d never return, but we liked the free movies.
My parents wanted La Virgen de Guadalupeto baptize
me but she had no papers and could not cross the border.
Juan Diego did immigrate, eventually, and he became
my uncle when he married Tía Rosa. He lured her
from Fermín while Fermín was out in the fields cutting
spinach. Fermín looked like Hitchcock but walked
like Charlie Chaplain. Se la robó, my grandmother
would chuckle: he stole her away from poor Fermín.