My English has sharp Ts like espinas de nopal



How can I soften the sharp Ts in my sound?

The ones acquired at school—

 where teacher used to say 

‘keep your accent for flirting’.

When you aren’t British, or Latina, or coloured, or white,

What are you?

Latinos, the ones with lovely skin

like dulce piloncillo

call me a mongrel.

Dad’s Green fingers

Mum’s red rage

What does that make?

Dad’s ojo alegre

Mum’s tristeza…

The usual story.

People look down at me with a little mocking smile:

too apasionada, drámatica, oh she’s so funny

kind a’smile.

Bisnieta de Andaluz, hija de madre blanquísima.

Descendiente de Moros.

Sometimes I envy a los Latinos del otro lado del océano,

them who aren’t separated from their roots

por todo un pinche mar Atlántico,

solo un muro/a wall, or a river called Rio Bravo,

a torrent that in winter vanishes

then, when warm, springs from the ground

like a deep wound across the desert,

like my tears/ my rage

lies in wait behind mi sonrisa

then pounces upon some unsuspecting victim,

never the appropriate target.

Mi rio está lleno de ahogados.

Only when you start withering you notice your roots are drying, dying,

then you might choose to sing to todas las brujas and remember:

comes the lullaby humming softly like the Rio Bravo

at the beginning of spring,

tales in tow,

of All who attempted the crossing.

I lay my espinita de nopal,

that sharp stabbing little accent

that hides under my plumage

like a cockerel spur,

across the parched river bed

so that the water, when it comes,

will blunt its edge,

I sing and wait.








  1. I love this poem. I wonder if you post them here, will you be able to send it ever to a poetry Prize competition? They usually require that the submissions have not been made public.

    Just a little spelling you might want to check; unless it is part of the poem.

    never the apropiarte target.

    1. Querida Consuelo, hice una revision, y creo que termine el poema.
      Ni yo ni el spell check encontramos los errores ortográficos que mencionas.
      Un abrazo

    2. “apropiarte” target, shouldn’t it be APPROPRIATE target?

    3. Well yes, it should, thank you Consuelo! Updated! BTW, did other revisions.


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