Requiem for a Moment Remembered


I am six and dressed in

a powder pink & blue organza dress,

made by my soon-to-be madrina.

Mami says, it’s a special day

I will be christened & sprinkled holy.


In this moment I pay no mind

to the tiers of crinoline under my dress

scratching legs flogged by a branch,

a tree switch of fire sparking skin,

daddy’s way of burning the world.


No one notices me as they prepare for the day.

Don Pocho in the backyard pit roasts the cerdo,

Titi Josefa, hair knotted, stirs the arroz con gandules,

hips moving to the lyrics of Bobby Capo,

Me Importas Tu y Tu playing on the radio.


Daddy, suited up, on the front porch,

sees me & whispers, just this once,

aye que bonita. His words enveloping me,

a moment teeming in sunlight.


I watch him out of the corner of my eye,

songbirds gather in my breath, alight on his smile,

the one I usually see after a shot of Bacardi,

softening his quiet suffering.


I collect this childhood day, save it like a seashell,

lucky stone or a rabbit foot & store it deep

like a blue jay hoarding acorns.

Deep into the marrow of forgiving.

Louisa Muniz is a freelance writer and a reading/writing tutor. She lives in Sayreville, NJ. She is a recent retired reading specialist and takes pride in having been a National Board Certified teacher who traveled to China to learn about their educational system. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Kean University. Her work has been published in Rose Red Review and is forthcoming in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing. She is currently working on her first poetry chapbook.