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Image by Roberto Carlos Roman Don


viviana mendoza

it’s because she’s cleaning the basement

of boxes, bags, and removing barricadas

to open up space.


she puts the chair in the alley

with its glistening gold arms

and crushed velvet,

vying to stay asleep in the corner

            like abuela used to.


that night,

i dream of my mother and my abuela

inside of a home,

sitting silently,

my mother resting on her lap,

their fingers folded together,

mouths mumbling prayers to La Virgen,

pleading that the cancer wouldn’t kill her.


before i wake,

i see my mother sitting silently,


            and alone.

Viviana Mendoza is a high-school English teacher & a person who writes poetry. She's been published in Motif, The Sagebrush Review, and The Ascentos Review. Her words always find their way to paper right before bed...when she should most definitely be asleep.

"Dia de los Muertos means being able to honor and acknowledge family members whose physical presence is no longer tangible, but whose spiritual presence is always near."

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