By Pat Mora
Like Sonia Sanchez and Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora attracts on oral and lyrical traditions; she reclaims the heritage and tradition of her Mexican roots, in particular genuine and imagined Mexican ladies of the previous, from a tribute to Frida Kahlo to an interview with an Aztec goddess.
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Extra resources for Agua Santa: Holy Water
Oye: Children are not bastards though sometimes their fathers are. They say I drown the babies, bend down with them heavy in my arms, rru-rru release them and their gur- glings into night water, or do I, ay, ay, ay, Page 76 begin to like the feel of a dagger, long and thin, one day plunge the tongue into those corazoncitos to spare them other piquetitos, Maybe I grow the dagger gleaming like my nails in moonlight. Grow what you need. Perhaps I want to hurt the father who in his story finds a woman who makes his parents smile, fair like every princess, probably thinner and ay, ay, ay, silent too, and in those days, I'm sure a virgin, immaculate.
Como las nubes de gloria. Como la luna espléndida. Now I'm moon-rider in repose, body concealed in flowing cocoon, hands, mouth, eyes folded, cloaked in stars. Hijas, consistent trappings can release us for internal work. Como la flor de rosa. Como el arco iris. Como las nubes de gloria. Como la luna espléndida. Page 72 You analyze the persistence of my image, how I don't fade. A muse amused, I am used everywhere, auto-shops, buses, bars, slender mother but virgen pura, no Malinche. Como la flor de rosa.
Try saying mamá. Tip 7: Watch your tongues. I try to hold you, to wrap my arms and hair around my children, to say, I am a daughter, abused woman, abuser, no saint, human, sold, slave, sexual woman, raped woman, invisible translator, mother Page 69 but, no virgin, never immaculate enough, never fleshless enough, never silent enough, my eyes Mexico's troubled, buried mirror. Tip 8: If you remove your mask, mirror, mirror won't lie. We. Inseparable. Tip 9: Children are not bastards; children are children.