Category: Poetry, Suffering

This poem is in loving memory of mi Tía Mildred. She loved Jesus, her family and her dogs, Dolly, Monique and Jazzy. She liked to call me “Lito-pin” and my dad’s favorite term of endearment for her was “Mildru-chin,” which I’d come to use affectionately for her, too. Her husband, “Luchito” (her name for him), of almost 50 years, was her soulmate and best friend. Half of her nieces and nephews called her “Cha” and the other, “Mamow.” Mildred spoke fluent Spanglish, which is one of my favorite memories about my favorite aunt.


Like your mother

You cast a wide net

Of kindness

Into the ever-changing waters,

Called Family.


I always wondered

What you did all day,

Mending and patching

Your life away.


It took your passing

To help me appreciate

The art you perfected

Of unconditional loving


As your net kept

Growing and growing,

Bringing Dolly, Monique and Jazzy

Into our crazy family.


You were a mother and teacher

To us all.


You loved every one of us

As if each of us

Won best costume

At the ball.


No favorites

Except, maybe, “Luchito,”

As you liked to call him,

Who forever stands strong and tall

Where cancer listens in vain

For an echo.


And no longer has eyes to see

Porque no tiene ojito.


Now it’s your time to enjoy

Heavenly crowns

Of good deeds

Done on solid ground


From predetermined towns

Like Masaya, Managua and Gretna,

Where the good Lord sent ’ya,

Responding to the affectionate sounds

Of “Cha” and “Mamow.”



There’s so much I—

Your “Lito-pin”—

Wish to say,

Face to face,

Staring into your eyes of gray,


In the presence and grace

De Jesucristo,

Quien quiso

Que estés con Él,

Sin delay

So you wouldn’t know

Lágrimas and suffering.


Planets and stars continue their ellipsis;

But from where I stand

The world sees no eclipsis.


I look outside my window

And wonder why others’

Faces aren’t melting,

Feeling the nuclear devastation

Of your leaving,


Or why they’re not in celebration,

Feeling the excitement

Of Heaven’s receiving

One more

To its roll call

Of eternal enchantment.

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Mariann Arredondo
Mariann Arredondo
10 months ago

First and foremost, my condolences, Dear One. You have certainly expressed your love and blessing in the most endearing way, the masterful poet and writer you are.


Friends feed the inherent desire in every single one of us to be seen and heard and remembered. And that makes us feel immovable and immortal as if the universe itself came alive to witness a miracle. And nothing we say or do will ever be forgotten. (This hints at the foreshadowing of a personal relationship with the ultimate Being—immovable and immortal—who is closer to us than a brother and who created us to know Him and to be known by Him.) But what if this convivial concept of friendship escapes us?

Read More »



if you’ve dropped your keys,

hat or hash pipe

into the “rabbit hole”

of delusive fantasy,

whirling and writhing down

an eternal abyss of insanity,

further and further away

from the drain of objective reality.

Read More »


Our reassurance

is His willingness

to be caught in the cross hairs,

a red dot

at the intersection

of an atoning fare

and a predetermined time-slot.

Read More »

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