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  • Robert L. Giron

Issue 99 — Arlene Goldberg-Gist, Beershiva Sahara Hodge

Arlene Goldberg-Gist

Winner of the Ventura Valdez Spanish Poetry Award-2017

Agrío y Dulce

Yo estoy sirviendo enojo para la cena esta noche.

Por eso la comida sabe amargo y agrio en tu boca

Pero no en la boca de nuestro hijo o la mía.

¿Por qué? ¿Por qué?

Porque sabes lo que te has hecho a ti mismo

Y así a nosotros.

¡Pero toma el dulce con el amargo!

Porque siempre te importa; haces un trabajo valioso.

Porque eres un buen padre.

Porque a veces bailas, tocas el piano, eres gracioso.

Porque moriste.

Porque todo el mundo te ama.

Y porque te amo.

Copyright ©2017 by Arlene Goldberg-Gist.

About the Author

Arlene Goldberg-Gist is a student at Montgomery College.

Beershiva Sahara Hodge

Winner of the Ventura Valdez English Poetry Award-2017

1998-2007: Remember The Trees

Little legs scraped on fresh bark weren’t an issue,

and whether or not we fell could be fixed with a tissue

But trees—

we miss you.

When I was a kid, I used to climb you all the time, not for a dollar, a twenty, or a dime.

Free-spirited and wild, funny how we turn so much more scared in comparison to when we were a child.

That tree is too high, we say, looking up and murmuring, not today.

Those leaves look prickly, and our faces turn sickly. That sap is too sticky, might run into a honeybee.

There’s probably bugs and stuff up there, the question is why is there so much fear and so much reluctance to attempt to climb something so trusting.

I thought to myself, maybe trees don’t grow the way they used to, the limbs aren’t low enough and the bark has turned rougher. The bugs have increased in population and so climbing is now worth a lot more speculation and then a rejection of the invitation that was once—

Impossible to resist.

But now we look at the tree, whose limbs our limbs once kissed

And we turn away, because those were the days where we had time to play, time to stay, time to be


Those were the days when things were so simple, not so thought-out

But now all we do is think, all we do is shout.

The trees might’ve grown, but so have we— so why is it that

We refuse to reach—

All we do is stop all the things that once gave us pleasure, restrict ourselves and one another,

conform and pretend, refuse to ascend to the place that we want to be.

I want to be

On top of a tree.

Copyright © 2017 by Beershiva Sahara Hodge .

About the author:

Beershiva Sahara Hodge is studying at Montgomery College and recently won the 2017 Ventura Valdez English Poetry Award.

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