by Nick Thran
It’s been a struggle
my mother spoke
about learning Spanish, but also
about the dispute then pulsing
through the hardwood floor
of the flat above our heads.
Neither of us really knew what was up,
until an open palm strike
broke the language barrier, and mother,
who tries hard to do good in this world,
marched up stairs,
banged on their door till it opened
enough for her to ask
in a friendly, foreign voice
the Spanish word for sugar
she made a point to learn before bastard,
and asshole, you leave her alone.
Though reluctant, the man did have a little,
but she said it took more
than a bit of time for him
to search out the pantry,
as she stood in the foyer listening
to soft weeping from another room.
My mother knew the word gracias.
Used the azucar to bake
her world-famous banana bread; a recipe
dug up after each of the moments she’d call,
in our native tongue, a crisis.
That night she cut the pieces thick,
and after they cooled, placed two
on a bone white china plate,
through that beautiful silence:
I believe they’re ok now
to eat. Azucar
never tasted so sweet;
it was never so easy to swallow.
Thran wants you to let him go to sleep.