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Her words
pricked my joy
like only a
mother's could:
"You've lost
your figure."

HAIKU POEM
ROSALIENE BACCHUS

I am looking for you, mother,
looking for you everywhere.
In the corridors of dreams,
windowless, empty.
I look for the door
that will lead me to you.
I look, but I never find it.

I am looking for you, mother.
On these hard streets and cracked sidewalks,
I run past
carnicerías,
babies dressed for
bautizos,
family parties in backyards.
But you are never there.

I am looking for you, mother.
I play Billie Holliday just like you did.
I think if I close my eyes
and wait long enough;
I will smell your perfume
and you will finally be here.
But you never come.
Doctors took you away.
You took yourself away
with pieces of paper neatly lettered
with milligrams and the proper dose.
They help you forget that once you were
almost celebrated
almost called beautiful
by people who thought it was a shame
that you were so Mexican looking.
So you give the man the paper
and he gives you the pills.
The pills help you.
The pills have stolen you from me.

I am looking for you, mother.
A woman kisses my hand,
I think it is you.
A woman holds me,
I think it is you.
My lover tells me
he thinks I am beautiful.
Not almost.
I think about you.

I wonder if I will ever find you.
I wonder if you will ever kiss me.
I wonder if you will ever hold me or tell me
I am beautiful.

I wonder if you'll ever know
that I wrote this for you.


Poem from the poetry collection Raw Silk Suture by Lisa
Alvarado, Floricanto Press, California, USA, 2008.

I am looking for you, Mother
Lisa Alvarado
MOTHER
Lisa Alvarado is a
Chicano educator,
journalist who lives
in Santa Fe, New
Mexico, USA.

She transformed her
award-winning poetry
chapbook,
The
Housekeeper's Diary
,
into a successful
one-woman
performance.

Her first novel,
Sister Chicas, a
young adult novel
co-authored with
Ann Hagman
Cardinal and Jane
Alberdeston,
published in 2006,
won the Latino
Literary Now 2007
second-place award
for the Best First
Novel in Engish.

Published in 2008,
her poetry collection,
Raw Silk Suture,
received positive
reviews from the
Chicano literary
community.

In 2009, the State
of Illinois honored
her as the Hispanic
Author of the Year.

Figures in black abound in Alvarado’s “perishable craft,” her
words of and for the unseen...her intensities are relentless.
Alvarado is a poet of the abyss...Such an artist was Frida
Kahlo....Lisa does not offer an exit; this is one of her superb
contributions. She conjures, that is all...
~ JUAN FELIPE HERRERA, author, poet, and California Poet Laureate 2012.

The poetry of Lisa Alvarado thunders across the page. Fiery
and smoky, these are poems for midnight whiskey and pre-
dawn espresso. These are poems for what ails us.
~ MANUEL RAMOS, author, poet, and founder and columnist of the Chicano
Literary Blog, La Bloga.

EXCERPTS FROM "
PRAISE FOR RAW SILK SUTURE"
COMO LA FLOR
SELENA
(1971-1995)
THE QUEEN OF
TEJANO MUSIC
CHICANO
POETRY &
LITERATURE
Chicano or Chicana
is the term used to
refer to Americans of
Mexican ancestry.

Chicano poetry and
literature date back
to the late sixteenth
century as a cultural
response to Spanish
colonization.

Following the
Mexican-American
War of 1848, it
developed into a
more distinctive
body of writing
reflecting Chicano
ethnic identity.

LEARN MORE.  
Detail of painting La Noche de Los Pobres by Diego Rivera
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