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POETRY MY QUEEN BEE for Christianna My house is a mess. Upkeep is an old illusion I have discarded. Martha Stewart’s monthly tomes of domestic organization Like confetti Spilled in a corner of the living room Reminders of my old dreams of the luxury of time Blocks in the toilet like sunken treasure To be fished out by a stiff, reluctant hand, My long-forgotten lipstick looking startled Inside my husband’s left dress shoe. In the icebox, chubby board books like ice cream sandwiches I can no longer savor or consume. Marbles, rubberbands, nickels, paperclips And other contraband Discovered beneath the cushions of neglected chores Make up a minefield waiting to be swept. I find her in the kitchen, My cross-pollinating daughter, Wearing only a T-shirt, diaper and tap shoes Gliding in zero-gravity Space bereft of self-consciousness. She bakes a teacup of raisins in a cold oven. Sweet honey I find With each new discovery of something replaced, Expertly extracted from the mire and drone of stuff and things, Held up to the light Like a prized and precious toy By curious sticky hands. LA MATA DE CHILE Crece alta Dando su frutaPiquin Chipotle Serrano Jalap etio Habanero Chiles verdes, rojos, amarillos de todos colores de todos tamaos. La Mata de Chile Crece donde quieras Chile seco Semillas desparramadas con el viento. Raices Un sinmimero de canales fragiles, Pero Fuertes. Florecitas De mirame-y-dejame Vestiditos delicados Come de azdcar Pero que se logran. La Mata de Chile Vive y sobrevive. Asi es la Mata de Chile Asi somos Nosotros. Yvette Benavides YVETTE BENAVIDES lives in San Antonio and teaches at Our Lady of the Lake University. She was born and raised in Laredo and writes, “Spanish is a rich, lyrical and gorgeous language; the echoes from my childhood that come back to me in memories and reveries are invariably in Spanish.”Naomi Shihab Nye 7/2/04 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21