I HEARD THE WORLD OFFER ITSELF AND MY MOM SAID NO
You can’t offer the world. Some people take it like greedy toddler fingers. There’s so much to give but we keep. My mother taught me a lot without teaching me. The food is cooking and she is cooking. The year before she left, she would come home too late to feed us, specially herself. I don’t see past myself. Everything holds a woman back. No one decides when to give up, they just do. The world offers everything and we don’t take it. She takes it too suddenly. I see it happen and don’t say a word. The world sees everything and narrates. World tells the story and finishes. The End.
We walked on water on weekends.
Fishing at the marina.
A family of ducks a few feet from us.
Father followed by children followed by mother.
The water touched me right below the knee.
Holding hands we lifted our feet above the mud.
Its murkiness absorbed.
I worried about becoming foggy.
In a few years, the marina became a swamp.
Never to be walked through again.
A family of us, a distant memory.
I got older and
there was less, listen,
less of everything to
and from birth to grief, each
second felt less than the other
then I stopped to breathe.
I kept getting older, I
thought there was more saved
like cake, water, air, the-
re was nothing, rest
came easy after that, for
there was you.
Tanya Castro is a writer from Oakland, California. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Saint Mary’s College of California. Tanya’s work was nominated for Best of the Net 2021. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Acentos Review, Anser Journal, FEED Lit Mag, Lost Balloon, and Mason Jar Press.