Love by Precious Perez
A picture’s worth a thousand words
But those words are my only way
To capture all the hidden truth
And say the things I cannot say
When hearts are pure,
And love is strong,
You don’t let go,
You just hold on.
Through doubt and truth,
Through age and youth,
You always remember,
The only light that shines,
When your hope is gone.
And memories grow old,
But you give them life,
With a single road.
The path you choose
Is yours to follow,
Whether it be joy,
or it be sorrow.
When times are tough,
And waters are rough,
The tears may fall,
From shattered luck.
And broken roads,
May be the start,
But those who care,
Will stem the flow,
With those three words
or a counteracting tale of woe.
It has been a while,
It has been too long.
Since I have written a rhyme,
Instead of singing a song.
Although there is
So much more to be said,
This is how I feel,
Even in the midst of evil,
And in my soul’s darkest depth.
Although I am aching,
And although I am gone,
Just know I will return,
And it will not be too long.
Although my presence is far,
And my heart beats slow,
I will fight with all I have,
As long as you know.
We are not perfect,
And we are blind.
You will forever be mine.
You will linger in my mind,
I will hold you close,
And hug you tight
As I slumber
In my cold empty bed tonight.
I will not deny,
That these circumstances are hard,
But no matter what happens,
We have come this far.
I do not know,
What the future holds,
But God knows where I have to go.
All I can do,
Is pray when it is due,
And hope he always leads me back to you.
For you are the only one,
Where there are quite a few.
My words are simple,
But my heart is right,
So please do not forget,
You are my eternal love and light.
You are my one wish,
And my one prayer,
And you might not believe it,
But I am always there.
Whatever it is that you do,
My desire is to share it with you.
Do not think too hard,
Do not be so quick to blame,
For I chose this path of joy with you,
And everything that came.
Do not ever feel afraid,
Do not ever doubt or question,
Our strength, our life, our liberty, and our pain.
We share two hearts,
One half of each other.
And you may not always think it right,
But it kills me when you suffer.
My thoughts have tried to carry me off,
To say I am insecure,
And you are lost.
But I cast them away,
With the rest of the jaded fray,
Because all that matters to me,
Is our moments in every day.
I have thought twice,
And I have cried more than this,
But it is all said and done,
With the gentlest kiss.
We have our flaws,
And wounds will heal.
Only time will tell,
If this picture is real.
Life is unpredictable,
And seasons come and go like friends,
But as long as we stand together,
It will have been worth it in the end.
But I will not analyze,
I will not worry or fear.
Whatever life brings,
I will enjoy every scene
In which you appear.
Lord give me patience,
And give me heart,
Give me light,
And give me dark.
Seal this bond with the truest bind,
And give me your sacred peace of mind.
Set us free,
And let us be.
No matter what they may tell me.
In the name of you,
And all that regards forever,
Bless them all,
And bless him too.
I say to you,
My only love,
You are my angel
From up above.
You can make mistakes,
But you can do no wrong,
Because your heart is pure,
And your love is strong.
Even if our paths diverge in Frost’s yellow wood,
And even if our future does not turn out the way it should.
If we are not together through years of bad and good,
Just always remember you changed my life for the better
And for good.
I do not live in Burlington, Vermont or boring Burlington, North Carolina or worst of all Burlington Connecticut. I Live in the peaceful Burlington MA on Mill Street. Where it is peaceful without too much noise. We even have the best Public schools ever!
My house is at a small intersection so it makes a T shape. My house is a beige color with 2 wooden deck that is colored brownish shades. There is a big heavy door on the back deck so my dog and sisters don’t leave the deck. In my yard we have a playground which has swings, slide, and a small rock wall. The stairs creak when you step up but they are safe. There is the wonderful smell of freshly cut grass green or close in color. There is a little play kitchen that is tiny with wicked spiders once in a while. There is a blue mailbox that is next to the wooden door and next to that there is a doorbell that doesn’t work. Right along the left side of the yard there is a small narrow stream that rises in the summer and comes back in fall. Once my mom and I put a log across the stream and crossed back and forth once.
Rahanas Park is close to my house right on Mill St. It is nice with tennis courts, volleyball net, basketball hoops, playground , and much more. I love playing there on warm days going down the slippery slide and landing on pointy, ruff, brown wood chips. Hot sticky swings make my legs stick on a hot day. The golden sand slipping into my shoes tickling me with joy. Also a bit sandy is the baseball field with faded plate that make playing impossible!
In the basement my sisters and I left our hand prints once when cement was drying! They are still there and I did them 4 years ago! I feel like that is a symbol that I lived there in the beautiful, nice, neighborhood in Burlington, MA.
After The Love by Precious Perez
“I never would have thought those few days of getting to know your father and Papa would change my life forever.”
I sighed contentedly as I turned to the window. I took in the view of the quiet streets, cruising cars, and kind faces with open hearts plain in their eyes, and sucked in a deep breath. Just as the bright sun drifted across a clear blue Georgia sky on a warm Friday in spring, I smiled tenderly into the eyes of my loving son Jacob and my spirited daughter Brooke. I could see my younger self in Brooke’s warm brown eyes and radiating smile. I could see my husband, Wayne, in Jacob’s muscular frame, dirty blonde hair, and frivolous humor. I was surprised it had taken so long for this question, but I was prepared to answer it. I vowed to myself that I would leave out nothing. Whether they’d realize it or not, this love story was not like the movies. If retelling it meant prolonging dinner, it would be a worthy sacrifice.
Brooke drew her attention away from the chipped glass plate she was scouring with a battered sponge. Jacob came striding in through the back door and headed for the worn cabinet under the sink. The tap continued to flow, and just as Jacob fitted a fresh trashbag into the lopsided metal barrel, Brooke looked up and suddenly asked,
“Mamma, how did you and dad meet?” I set down my large knife beside the seasoned chicken breast I was cutting, and allowed it all to come back… [flashback]
“It was a hot and humid summer day. Typical Florida. We were sixteen. The summers I spent there were my one chance all year to get away from the usual. Instead of Massachusetts’s rushing crowds, biting cold, and polluted air, there was ever-present sunshine, swaying palm trees, and relaxation. I was on vacation with your Grandma Jenn. We had one every year when I was growing up, and we never went anywhere else. We always came to the South where the weather was hot.”
“But where did Dad come in the picture? TELL ME!” Brooke bounced up and down impatiently, grasping my arm.
“Yeah, mom. Was he a player, or…” Oh, Jacob, always so flippant. Brooke stared intently into my face. Her expression was eager, and it was evident that her attention was rapt. Jacob wore a furtive Kool-Aid smile. Yes, he was indeed amused. I shook with mirth, the lines of age creasing with the grin on my flushed face.
“I loved everything about Florida, but when I saw him, I forgot about everything else. He was tall, pale, and muscular. He had eyes the color of the ocean waves, and dirty blond hair that was soft to the touch. I could already tell he was honest, and by the small smile poised on his lips, I knew he laughed at the most obvious things. Despite my self-consciousness and racing heart, I walked up to him as casually as I could. I looked up, and reached out a trembling hand, praying it wasn’t clammy.
“Hi! What’s your name?” My knees shook slightly, but I somehow managed to keep steady.
“I’m Wayne Clansy, but cawl me Wayne.” He winked. His blue eyes twinkled, his voice danced with a slight country twang, and his gentle laugh melted my heart. Butterflies filled my stomach when he took my hand and held it.
“I’m Rosíta Martínez, but, ehem, call me Rosíta.”
I smirked playfully, knowing perfectly well the Spanish accent I should’ve had was not at all present. We both laughed. He knew I was teasing him a bit. He entwined our fingers, and never took his eyes from mine.
We walked side by side, hand-in-hand, and we talked. I told him all about Massachusetts and Grandma Jenn’s old-fashioned tendencies, and he told me about how Georgia was his and Coke’s beloved home (he was on vacation too). He told me about his love for Skittles, and secretly I wished to be what he loved. Most importantly, he told me about his father George.”
“Papa’s real name is George?! How come we never knew that?” Brooke and Jacob exclaimed in unison, laughing and dropping their jaws in mock horror.
“Yes, it is. He is still mysterious, Even after all these years. I was actually surprised your father told me about Papa before I even met him. I guessed they were close. Your father told me about how your Papa had eyes like his that were wise and true. Before I even met him, I knew about his strong heart, the soft blonde hair on his head, and his quiet habit of observation. I reached up to touch your father’s hair, and as I curled the short soft strands around my fingertips, I wondered if your grandfather’s hair felt the same. I met Papa a few days later in the hotel café.
I smiled to myself as I purposely blended into the small crowd and observed them–father and son, from where I stood. They smiled and laughed together. High-fives were exchanged, and I noticed the shy little twinkle in both their eyes. I headed over wearing the most pleasant smile I could muster.
“Hi! You must be Mr. Clansy. I’m Rosíta! It’s very nice to meet you!”
“Hey! I’ve heard quite a bit about you young lady. I think Wayne really likes you, eh, son?”
I was taken aback by the friendliness of his gentle hand, his middle-aged charisma, his timid politeness, and the lazy humor in his calculating eyes. What impressed me more was the way he and your father interacted. Your father told me he was a quiet man, but that’s not what I saw. As we all laughed and talked together, I saw pure life and spirit. I already loved them both. When I left the café holding your father’s hand with Papa trailing behind, I was sure of it. At least I was until later on that night…
The fresh breeze lifted my hair off my shoulders. I breathed deeply as the sunset bathed the horizon. I enjoyed walking along the beach at night to gather my thoughts or get lost in memories. This night was different, though. I didn’t expect to see your father and Papa at all, and I never would have believed what I heard if I didn’t witness it all myself. Even from a distance, your grandfather’s face was carved stone. His eyes were not warm, but sharp and piercing. His mouth was set in a thin line, and his cheeks were flushed. The angry red of his face reminded me of fire. I didn’t dare give myself away, especially when I saw the way Wayne’s spirit had changed–his smile, his eyes, his words, and even his usually lazy posture was fixed and cold. I ducked behind the nearest palm tree, and listened hard.
“HOW COULD YOU REALLY THINK I WOULD BE OKAY WITH this? She’s Puerto Rícan, for God’s sake! Do you know what those people are like? Do you know how deceitful they are? You can’t know one of them and expect them to actually understand you! You can’t trust them! They’re nothing but trouble. And they’re a minority! Are you stupid? I swear I’d disown you if you ever married her!”
My heart lost its innocence. I sat down and cried as your grandfather’s words echoed in my mind. I wasn’t even a name to him! I was a race. What was I supposed to think? How was I supposed to react?”
Brooke and Jacob froze. A tear ran down Brooke’s still face. Jacob wiped it away, and put a comforting arm around his sister. It was a shock to them both.
“I don’t know how long I stayed there. I could hear Grandma Jenn’s warning in my head. Her matter-of-fact voice said don’t get attached, because boys are nothing but a detriment to my heart.
“There’s no way you can expect this to go any further once they leave. You’ll never see that boy again.”
I couldn’t listen to her. I wouldn’t listen to her. As mortified as I was by what I had heard, I couldn’t forget the hardness of determination in your father’s eyes as he told Papa he simply didn’t care. In the midst of it all, he fought for his morals, and he fought for his right to love me. I think he was sure that he loved me, too. I couldn’t ignore that.”
“so What did you do then?” Brooke’s question was barely a whisper. I had never seen her so reserved, so quiet.
“I dried my eyes and waited for your grandfather to leave. Without a word, I walked up to your father and embraced him. We didn’t let go, not for a long time, before he said,
“I’m not giving up. Golly, woman. I just met you, and you already mean too much to me.”
“We’ll make it through this. We’ll prove everyone wrong, mi amor. I know you aren’t like him. I love you, Wayne.”
Tears began to stream from my eyes. I kissed your father gently as he brushed the tears away with the tips of his fingers. My entire view of the world changed in that one moment. My life was different. I truly understood what it meant to be good in the world, and what it meant to be evil. I truly understood racism. All those history classes I took in school could never have prepared me for this, but in my heart, I knew something I had never known before. I knew I could never see your father differently, just because your grandfather believed something he didn’t. I had to fight, because my love for him was too strong. I also knew I loved your grandfather for making your father who he was, so I would never hold a grudge. Even if Papa was a man of his image and had two-sided truths at the time, I was not, nor would I ever be who he thought I was. He learned to accept the fact that your father and I were together and he wasn’t going to change that. I think he realized that not all Puerto Ricans are the same.”
“Mamma… but… He didn’t disown Dad”
Each tear was a sign of Brooke’s consternation. I could tell by the fire in his eyes that Jacob was indignant.
“Papa has changed.”
This was all I could say. A tear rolled down the bridge of my nose. Wordlessly, I gestured for them to follow me. I slowly led them out of the kitchen and through our cozy living room until I found the New International Bible we keep on the mantle. I motioned for them to sit on the fluffy blue couch behind us. As I sat down beside Brook and Jacob, I turned the delicate pages with care until I found what I was looking for. Tear stains marked my many visits to the same verse–Deuteronomy 24-16.
“Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.”
My lips trembled as I read, but I knew I had to explain further.
“This verse is saying that children should not be judged for their parents’ sins, and the same goes for parents. This is another reason why I couldn’t do what everyone would have expected and forget your father altogether. Your father was different from Papa. I knew that. God knew that.”
Just as I closed the Bible and replaced it on the mantle, we all rose at the sound of my husband’s key turning in the lock. I don’t think we were ever more happy to hear him bellow,