My child, my poor little child one more Christmas or perhaps another birthday, but no more, says Destiny to my child, whose only worries should be the colored barrettes in her hair or which dress she should wear. My child, I cry, whose only thoughts should be of her awareness of life and wanting to play pretend. I too want to play pretend that this child, my child, will grow into a beautiful young woman who will have a successful career and become a mother like me. To pretend that the reason my child can’t wait for Christmas or her birthday is not because it may be her last, but like any other child she anticipates the gifts to come.
Almost ten, this child, my child, clings to life instead of her doll with a small smile which makes you grateful for another day and the love she gives so freely. Once this child, my child, is gone I shall be left with only a short memory of her, but through the rest of my life I will carry with me her courage and warmth, for this child, my child, has taken this frightened child and made her into a courageous woman.
~ Miguelina Perez ~
Society’s Red Light District
The first time I walked by the district I noticed her standing by the corner waiting for John. I didn’t pay her any mind at first by society standards her world and mine were far apart. I would often see her on my way home, till eventually it became routine. I became acquainted with her, but not in the way society would deem it right. I knew her fears, thoughts and strengths. These fears and thoughts were always focused on what society thought of her. I knew this by the way she always looked around with guilt and shame. Though I sensed her discomfort I could not help but stare, along with everyone else that passed her by. She wore long black boots with stockings up to her thighs. Her outfit, not the kind of dress society would condone, was of a sheer nylon material. Underneath it she wore nothing but a red bra. Her nakedness shocked the hell out me, for society has made me a snob and a prude, as well. Everything about her was real, except her hair of gold-fill. She didn’t have an Elizabeth Taylor kind of beauty, but Da Vinci would have painted her anyway.
John was her means of survival – the nature of the beast. The beast, man was her god and nature, her religion. It didn’t matter to her whether he was fat, skinny, tall, short, black or white. Whenever she saw him approach she would become the businesswoman and quite confident at that leaving her conscience behind. “How much?” he’d ask. She would saunter over to him very seductively. I was amazed at her seductive professionalism. Bending over with her legs apart she would whisper, “Fifty for fifteen minutes, and any way you want it.” I could see the wheels in John’s mind turning. The last part of the sales pitch, which was added as an incentive, made the sale. “O.K. sugar, hop in.” John would say as he unlocked the door. She would then smile and I thought ironically that she had the smile of angel, yet wicked.
That was the last time I saw her, for now I take a different road. I’ve often wondered what’s become of her and of the similarities between our worlds. I too have to work very hard in order to survive, and though the beast has become her god and nature her religion, God and Christianity are mine. Man dictates that there are boundaries in our society we shouldn’t cross, but what he conveniently forgets to mention are the times he himself has wandered past these forbidden boundaries, thus creating an outcast society.
~ Miguelina Perez ~
Shadows in the Sand
We walked side by side on the beach that day. Neither one of us spoke, for words couldn’t express the feelings that were felt between the shadows in the sand and us. Streaks of sunlight pushed their way through the thick and gloomy clouds and we were in awe by the beauty of the sea, waves dancing and roaring, creating an almost sweet and youthful melody to our harmonious moment. I was feeling grateful for the opportunity to share it with you and you were enjoying my delight in it all.
Like famous movie stars, who wrote their names and placed their foot-prints on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard, we too held our own private ceremony on the sand. Though we were certain the waves would soon erase our prints, we knew that they would forever remain between us, and the shadows in the sand.
In the distance, our shadows mimicked our childhood games, little girls jumping in the water, splashing around chasing after one another, and creating castles where their princes would someday carry them.
Everything changes with time we said, without words. Shadows in the sand were no exceptions. Looking at them through the eyes of adults, they seemed almost wistful about the past, pensive about the present, and in contemplation of the future. A change we would always welcome because of the love between us, and the shadows in the sand.
~ Miguelina Perez ~
A Homeless’ Awareness
The night is dark and cold; I have no home. I set my place by the corners or stoops of abandoned buildings; I have no home. Often, however, I wait ’til dark to find a place clean enough to set my bed. Not too far from me is my shopping cart with all my belongings. It’s not a Gucci or a Von Furstenberg suitcase but it will do. As a matter of fact it’s a Safeway or Giant, I don’t quite remember ’cause I was drunk.
I find myself wondering how or why this came to be, but no answers come to mind. I don’t mind begging for food or money; I’ve been stripped of everything including shame. I worry about the seasons ’cause they are the hardest on me, except for spring and autumn.
In the winter, the stars are bright but not with warmth, and still I have no home. The grates of the underground subway become my bed. The heat emanating from the grate warms my body through the night and even though it may seem uncomfortable, nothing compares to the torments of the cold. I rest, not caring if you stare as you pass me by. Through the days I walk around trying to stay warm. I push my cart forward to my next destination as you continue to push yourself forward, both of us having different goals. For your steps forward brings change, as for me, everything stays the same. Many of us die in the winter.
Spring rolls in and I become hopeful. I wonder why, but no answers come to mind. The trees start to bloom and you become generous to someone like me. The fragrance of the flowers brings a faint vision that’s far from my grasp, perhaps of home? Though the memory only lingered but a second, it was long enough for me to realize something’s amiss. If I am aware then why go on with this madness? Still no answers come to mind.
The heat of summer is here, my shoes are torn and so are my clothes. My hair is in need of a comb, and my body a bath. I find the heat unbearable even though I beg for it all throughout the winter.
Come, autumn! The trees begin to change, a true sense of time passing by, wind blowing, pushing my weary body forward. Children playing with the leaves, adults frustrated at having to rake them. I sit in awe of the beauty of the world and God’s creation and still no answers come to mind.
You look at me and see a bum; now, I truly beg of you to speak, speak to me and hear that I have no dreams, for I cannot afford the luxury, no memories, for they have withered with the seasons. I am aware of who I am, but still no answers come to mind.
~ Miguelina Perez ~