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January 11, 2023

Tres Generaciones

Ruddy Lopez
Tres Generaciones

I often fantasize a round table

three shot glasses, a bottle of tequila

and a full moon peeking through the window.

Vicente Fernandez softly playing through the speakers.

My grandmother, my mom, and I

somehow all aged thirty-four.

For a night we forget our mother and daughter titles.

Our cheeks warm with drink

as we talk and sing along

of past loves, of vivid dreams and

the secrets we held in our chests

to protect each other’s joy.

Grandma talks about life in the rancho,

about being the eldest daughter

and milking the cows as soon as the sun rose.

Mom talks about leaving Mexico

and buying cold tortillas prepackaged at the store,

of shopping malls and a language different than her own.

I tell them about home in two different countries.

Of English and Spanish and being a seed

planted in soil up north.

We talk of gray hair, and whether we will

rock the silver now that it is slowly appearing.

Grandmother tells me of the flower fields,

lush and green with violets blooming,

clean air filling her lungs.

Mother tells me of Mariachi nights,

and talking to potential husbands

through cracks on the cobblestone wall.

And I crave to be there with them

in simpler times. Though they tell me

I have it easier. And I believe them.

So I tell them of long airplane rides that cross oceans,

show them pictures of sculptures and ruins older than the three of us put together.

Of swimming on top of ancient volcano craters with a life vest because

I still don’t know how to swim.

Of skydiving and flying next to birds

and almost throwing up after.

For one night, we are all still here.

With sleepy eyes, we drink a glass of water,

turn the music off and go to bed.

Dreaming of lush green fields, of warm freshly made tortillas

and the stories we have only begun to tell.

Ruddy Lopez lives in Inglewood, California, and attended California State University, Long Beach.  She obtained a BA in English Literature and English Education and is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Review of Books Publishing Workshop. Ruddy is an educator, writer, editor, executive assistant at Community Literature Initiative, and contributor with Latinx in Publishing. In her spare time, Ruddy enjoys reading, writing poetry, and exploring what her city has to offer.

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