125th

May 26, 2010

when i use to walk
125th
from west side to east side

scents
would lead the way.
jimbo’s burgers
sylvia’s hot ribs
and cuchifritos.

sounds
kept my feet
in rythmn.
digable planets
meeting
tito puento
at the crossroads:
125th and Lex.

you could feel
the apollo
any given
saturday night.

sights
kept us alert
as we looked
in to V.I.M’s store front
telling each other
which sneakers
would make us
run faster.

fast forward
20 years later.
125th
looks different…
like something outta’
Time Square
without the lights.

recalling childhood memories
becomes much more difficult
when the image has changed.

i hear
the churches
can no longer
run on tithe
cause the rents
gone up.
and the bell’s toll
is preaching
economic growth
for the pockets
of each devils
disciple.

abandoned
brownstones
aborted
twenty years ago,
now unboarded;
lookin’ like the Huxtables
moved in.

sky scraping
wallets.
dressing up evictions
in words like, ‘redevelopment,
transformation and beautification.’

they never saw
its real beauty?

we did.
in tenement buildings’
fire escape gardens.
in housing floors’
holiday decorations.
in park BBQ’s
that grilled laughter
on skewers.
in the grand opening
of Don Manuel’s bodega.

uprooted.
changes
created
from outside.

i wonder
what mrs. parker
feels and thinks
about all this…

everybody getting
a piece of the pie
nobody wanted to eat.

i’ll keep walking
125th
the spirit
of a people’s history
cannot be redeveloped.

~Sarah Yajaira, 2010  ©

wearing love

May 22, 2010

i never saw
that outfit on you.

you look good in love.
love looks good on you.

i can tell…
you wear her
in your smile.

~sarahi yajaira, 2010 ©

empty spaces

May 19, 2010

the blanks.
the voids.

the sadness
that visits
and revisits,
keeps you company
then leaves you alone.

depression
sinking
at times, drowning.
you emerge
soaked
in sadness.

the knot
in your throat
doesn’t let you swallow
the sorrow.
you choke in the anger
of not knowing
the origin
of your melancholy.

you smile
at everyone.
while your spirit
cries…
mourning and grieving
your uncertainty.

your heavy heart
carries emptiness.

forget.
try not to find
the cause of pain.

instead,
rise.

get up.
stand steady.
walk.

move.
on.
through.

fill in the blanks
with love
(you have that in abundance).

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010 ©

dissipating worries

May 18, 2010

on the rough days
when the negativity
turns to face me

i turn away
and face you.

your smile
soothes me.
reminds me
to play.
to hide-and-seek
a different way to look at life.

your little hands
tag me.
the music playing
on the truck coming down the street.
you stop.
whisper in my ears
“you know what would make this day perfect?
…some ice cream.”

we sit on the sidewalk
quietly
i say, “this ice cream is good…
but it’s you who makes my day perfect.”

you smile.
we get in the car
driving away.
i open the sunroof
you stick your little head out
shouting
laughing and loving
every minute of the wind
in your face.

dissipating my worries…
in the blue skies of your smile.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010  ©

post ethics class

May 14, 2010

i received an email from an old college classmate today.  in it she wrote,

“I am glad to hear you had a great Birthday! I just wanted to send you a note apologizing for something I said more than ten years ago in Ethics class. It was an ignorant comment about your presentation on gay people in society I believe. I never meant to offend you or embarrass you. I wanted to apologize after class after you presented but I was told not to by a few class mates. I now know to always listen to my instinct and not be afraid to speak up. I do not know you really well but we do share mutual friends and you have a beautiful soul and heart. I am sorry and I hope you accept this apology. I do hope that in the future we can be friends.”

now… i would be lying if i told you that i had a clue what she said or for that matter what i presented in ethics class (this happened more than ten years ago).  my initial reaction was one of sadness.  because i thought she’d been holding on to this for quite some time (she expressed in another email that she thought about apologizing every time she saw me on FB); while i was probably upset about it in the moment and then added it to the pile of  “forgotten frustrations”.  i thought, since she had thought about it for the last ten plus years, i should recall something.  still, i can’t remember anything… i barely remember the professors name.  but that’s not the point… the point here is growth.

now, i should perhaps have prefaced this by stating that i graduated from what was then an all-women’s private catholic college (yes, by choice ;o)  perhaps it helps to make clearer what i was able to understand and gather from this email.

post-ethics class lesson: time and space. experiences and beliefs. wherever we stand at any particular time… we stand with our experiences and beliefs up-to-date.

my response to her was short:

“Whatever you said my sister is long forgotten and forgiven. I believe we speak from a time and place based on our experiences and beliefs. And at that particular time and place you had a different set of experiences and beliefs.
We are constantly evolving (it’s our human nature). As that process continues I believe we reflect on our past so as to better understand where we are and which direction we’d like to head. You have done just that.

Future friends? No. You’ve never stopped being my sister. Even if we just share common friends. Our paths did cross. Our lives are forever intertwined. So count on a sisterhood always…”

she responded almost immediately.  writing that she is now the “mother of three wonderful girls who have changed [her] life.” and that she needed “to be real and true to herself and her daughters because children learn what they live.”

to recognize and realize that our children are a reflection of our best and worst  and live by example is beautiful.

time and space.  experiences and beliefs.

if we remain open, we are bound to be such a beautiful enlightened people. because what we see today… ten years from now will look and feel entirely different… and our children will be watching and learning.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010 ©

birth day gift

May 13, 2010

11,688 days
have blessed me
with the gift of life.

hindsight
giving clarity
of purpose.
insight
giving
foresight:
a wiser way to walk
my journey.

i am.
a better me.

moving
forward
in transition
evolving
never still.

i am
growing.

stretching
reaching
in search of
finding
never settling.

11,688 days
have taught me
that the gift
of life…
is living
every day
with purpose.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010 ©