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Violet childhood

From the ghetto of Oakland, California
to the clean streets of Santa Fe
I made it.
Growing up with sounds of gunshots in the distance
Sullen screams, yells never meant anything
my mama kept me safe.
There was nothing to be scared of;
we were all in our own place.

I remember the smell of something burning;
a fire just outside my house.
Dad pulls me out of bed
trying to sloppily put on my socks.
“Andiamo, dai, su…”
I will never forget what I saw
upon emerging outside.
A red sky; big like the ocean
orange clouds glistening in the night,
a full carpet extending from east to west
to the realms of what my eyes could see.

I remember the big V.W. van,
white in the empty parking lot,
doors open in the autumn air.
My mama watches me sleep peacefully
a violet comforting in my hand
falling to the van floors.

Five years old when we made the big move,
the van filled to the brim with everlasting foliage.
With the climates of the southwest
I could easily master the art of mud cooking.
Everyday I would play in my wooden kitchen
Creating delicacies for my family.
I always wondered why they politely refused…
Playing over the cylinder wall with Claire;
American Girl dolls living through our voices.
“Ariel, vieni. È ora d’andare.”
That meant it was time to go home.



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