Ida, Joe Polo, Nina 1944 edit2 crop[

Ancestors Stir the Pot, a poem

The search for roots and acceptance of death

Ancestors Stir the Pot by Nina Serrano The ancestors like the kitchen They are called by the sound of chopping
1943, New York City L-R Mother, Ida Serrano, Father Joe Serrano, Uncle Paul (Augustine Polo), Nina Serrano

 

Fortunately, I had a chance to share this poem, Ancestors Stir the Pot, with my beloved brother, Philip Serrano, just before he died suddenly. I am left with the acceptance of death. I mean; I  accept that it happens and even more frequently in my old age. It leaves me bereft until I can make it through the days without tears. This foto above was taken a few years before Philip’s birth.

Ancestors Stir the Pot

by Nina Serrano

The ancestors like the kitchen
They are called by the sound of chopping
the clatter of pots and pans and the promise of slow cooking
Polo prompts
“Aren’t you going to throw in a bay leaf?”
Joe quips “I don’t like how it smells up the house
But if more people might come toss in potatoes”
Anna quietly suggests “Float a sprig of dill on top”
Silent Rosa hints to add cumin
though when she was alive
she didn’t speak English
Her daughter Rosita agrees
admitting that she hated to cook
Ida says encouragingly
“A little more garlic makes it better”
Before I pop the lid on
to let it simmer
they all laugh to remember
that cut raw onions
made them cry.

©2016 Nina Serrano

Check out my short video “Sandinista Memories” for more on my own ancestors and their role in my novel, NICARAGUA WAY.

Also check out “One Note Is Mine” for more about Phil.

MEDIA – For photos & interviews: Paul Richards (510) 967 5577; paulrichards@estuarypress.com

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