Hibiscus Agua Fresca- a poem

Abstract drawing of a hibiscus flower done by me

Mami says the hibiscus agua fresca tastes bitter because it has been here too long

And I wonder if she thinks the same about herself

She says this country does not love her and she won’t stay where she is not wanted 

But I secretly think she is talking about me

I wonder what she will say to her mother when she goes back with just the clothes on her back and a memory filled bag

The exact same way she left all those years ago

I wonder if on the plane, while she is leaving

She will think of her arrival 

About the days in the desert, about the bodies she saw, about the men who helped her up and dragged her along

About the daughter who has five words stuck in her throat, lodged in so tightly, everything else comes out with a yell 

I wonder if she will realize there are a million different ways to say “Te quiero mucho, Mami”

About how every fight, every word, every tear 

Has been about the same thing 

About what I’m unable to say

And what she is unable to do

“I love you, please stay” 

-Annette

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