Tia Siria. I remember how you made the most beautiful tortillas, softly round and always rising like a hot balloon. My mother tells me the story of how you and tio Angel eloped one day when you were lefth in charge of taking care of the little siblings.
Tia Siria carrying the baby
Tio Joel, remember how you let me take a poof of your cigarette when I was only six? I do! Then I never wanted to taste it again. We loved you at home.
My tio Joel
Abuelo Felix. The last time I saw you I was walking down your house street with my kindergarten class. You were sitting by the sunlight with a blanket on your lap. I said, "Adios, Papa Felix!" And you waved back. But then I knew you didn't know who I was when you waved to all the other children the same. You were already 104-year-old.
Mama Pita. Legends are said about you. That your son cried in your womb, that you married an old man, that you were called La Bonita, that you raised your children alone killing chickens. What I remember the most about you is that I heard you cry the night I slept with you. I was eight. A few weeks later you were no more.
Tio Mario. How everybody loved you. I did too. more than 30 years later I still dream about your return. Will you come visit me tonight? I will play salsa and we can dance together again like when I was a child.
Mama Mina holding my grandpa's portrait
Maestre Carlos Aceituno, I had been lost in the big city of SF until I found you--at last I was at home. You welcomed me with my toddler son into your class and your dance group, and finally I belonged. Tonight I am dancing at the SF procession in your honor. I miss you.