A Christmas Howl

By Rosalva Ruiz (SuperNova)

When was it that my world changed?
Christmas is not the same
A house full of warmth
Uncles happy with whiskey and beer
Aunts gossiping with glee
The children running around
The tamalada with guacamole and sauce
As well as cabrito en sangrita and arroz
While the menudo is in herbor
in el mechón
Close to everybody
Pa hecharle un ojo
The fireworks illuminating the sky
Even wishes were made before
It all died
Children playing las escondidas
Asking from time to time
“Is it 12 yet?”
“Can we open our gifts?”

The door unable to stop
People coming in and out of the house
There was laughter and joy
Huapangos and danzon.
Alguna que otra cumbia
Y un buen bailador.

A carpet full of humans
One could barely walk
With the dim lights
and whispering
all through the night.
Sometimes…
Even a howling scream at dawn
Where somebody was stepped on
By a drunken uncle
Trying to reach the restroom.
And all laughing
Unable to go back to sleep
With the smell of tortillas de harina
Recien saliditas, beans, machacado
coffee and menudo for the hangover.
Everybody sitting where there was a place
Eating, talking, laughing…
What a magical place and time.

These past memories came howling
During these holidays
Excruciating my already beaten heart…

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