Heaven’s Pennies | Teen Ink

Heaven’s Pennies MAG

December 26, 2014
By elisenicolle PLATINUM, Redwood City, California
elisenicolle PLATINUM, Redwood City, California
25 articles 8 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
stuck in the suburbs, eyes glued to this screen
wake me up when the world is clean.


grandmama, tell me
tell me about the summer days
When you danced in the streets of El Salvador
for pennies to buy candy

tell me about the rich man on the patio
who would give you pennies when you walked by
and how you would keep walking by
and by
And by

tell me about the songs and the dances
and how to move my hips like una españolita
tell me why they don’t grow chile in china

abuela dí­game
tell me about the day she asked you to move to America
and how you shrugged your shoulders and left the next day

tell me about the bus ride
about three straight days in the latin heat
with nothing but a floppy hat and some hope
tell me about the El Salvador dust that the bus left
trailing behind
not out of neglect but necessity
tell me about your first day in the land of opportunity

grandmama, tell me
tell me about the cooking and cleaning
and why I should eat beans with every meal
tell me about your coffee
and how it got blacker as the work got harder
tell me about tequila and men
and why I should avoid them both
and why El Salvador is where the beautiful people live
and why you say eres hermosa niña, eres bonita

abuelita dígame
tell me about the bus ride to heaven
under the warm latin heat like a river of salsa music
dancing through your soul to your hips
as you shake
and clap
and clank your glass
to la cucaracha, la cucaracha –

grandmama, tell me
tell me if they grow chile in heaven
’cause aye aye aye they don’t in china
and tell me, was your first step off the bus beautiful?
beautiful like eighteen cousins learning to salsa
beautiful like the fiestas
the tamales
the besos y brazos
beautiful like your strong spanish soul

Abuelita, tell me
tell me you hear my prayers
and that you know I miss you
grandmama, tell me
por favor
Does God give you pennies in heaven?



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This article has 9 comments.


Beila BRONZE said...
on Mar. 8 2015 at 7:09 pm
Beila BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
3 articles 0 photos 519 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." -Mark Twain

Uggh, sorry, technical issues. That was me. :)

Nora Y. said...
on Mar. 8 2015 at 7:08 pm
Wow, I love this poem for so many unique reasons. I love the blend of languages and cultures--you can almost taste the latino seasoning in your American Dream tale. I like that you intersperse the important images with the minor ones, the bus ride to America with a floppy hat, and that it makes me question if perhaps it's not the bus ride that is significant after all.... I love that this poem oozes with the warmth and flavor of your abuela's strong Salvadoran soul, that you share her with us while still keeping her entirely to yourself. Most of all, I love the love in this poem. It reminds me of my love for my babushka ;), because as differently as that love is coated, the sweet filling inside is the same.

on Mar. 8 2015 at 4:33 pm
elisenicolle PLATINUM, Redwood City, California
25 articles 8 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
stuck in the suburbs, eyes glued to this screen
wake me up when the world is clean.

Wow thank you so, so much :)

on Mar. 8 2015 at 10:29 am
Allen. PLATINUM, Palo Alto, California
32 articles 9 photos 525 comments

Favorite Quote:
[i]No matter how much people try to put you down or make you think other things about yourself, the only person you can trust about who you really are is you[/i] -Crusher-P

I'm rather surprised this wasn't put in one of the magazines. This is beautiful and meaningful and at times even funny. I hope you get in the magazine soon, because this is real talent.

on Mar. 8 2015 at 6:03 am
Ray--yo PLATINUM, Kathmandu, Other
43 articles 2 photos 581 comments

Favorite Quote:
God Makes No Mistakes. (Gaga?)
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." -Liesel Meminger via Markus Zusac, "The Book Thief"

Hmm.. it seems I never mentioned adding it as a favourite, which I did months ago. Beautiful.

on Dec. 31 2014 at 3:18 am
elisenicolle PLATINUM, Redwood City, California
25 articles 8 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
stuck in the suburbs, eyes glued to this screen
wake me up when the world is clean.

@writing. @writeandreid @-L.k.R.- thank you all so much. I'm so glad you were able to find something valuable in my poem :)

on Dec. 30 2014 at 11:51 pm
MariahPotter PLATINUM, Lansing, Michigan
39 articles 8 photos 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.” -scarlett letter

I really appreciate this one. It's flawless, you creative soul, you.

on Dec. 30 2014 at 2:53 am
writeandreid SILVER, Salt Lake City, Utah
6 articles 2 photos 4 comments
this is beautiful. i loved the interspersed spanish and the formatting, they added a lot for me

-L.k.R- said...
on Dec. 28 2014 at 4:21 pm
-L.k.R-, Epinay Sur Seine, Other
0 articles 1 photo 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To know, is to know is that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge." By Socrates.

This is so emotional...I kinda miss my grandmother in heaven as well...