Based on the vignette: Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark, by Sandra Cisneros

        Your primo Camilo had an accident, Mama says one afternoon in the studio. Se murio, and then just like that, even though trying to look strong begins to cry, my brave Mama cries. I am not used to seeing Mama cry, so I just hug her and hope it will make her feel better.

        I know we will have to honor his death, that there will be a special ceremony just for him, all of my aunts and uncles will be there, all carrying flowers to arrange over his grave because this is how they show appreciation and respect to the dead in this country.

       Because I am the middle child, my mother has told me second, but now it is my responsibility to explain my sister. I will have to explain why Mama is so sad and somber. I will have to tell her to be quiet the rest of the day.

       My Mama, her long hair and long jeans, who begins to cook dinner in the afternoon, who holds her hair with giant clips, drinks her aguapanela, and calls us to eat dinner, today is standing besides me, hugging me.

       And I think if my own cousin died how would I feel. I hug my Mama in my arms. I hug and hug and hug her.

Original vignette: Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark



Dear Diary – Esperanza

Dear Diary,

              Today I had my first day of work, I was really excited at first, but then after some hours of hard work all of that excitement vanished and what I could only feel was fear. I work at Peter Pan Photo Finishers packing negatives with prints in envelopes,  it was really easy but after some time tiring. I looked at everyone and only sat when they did. I took them as an example to fit in.  Then lunch time began. I was really scared to eat alone with all of these strangers, so I ate quickly in one of the washroom stalls, and then returned early to work. I continued to work until break time, I didn’t know what to do or where to go so I just went to the coatroom because there was a bench there.

              Later that day, at the time for the night shift/mid shift an older oriental man said hello. We continued to talk for a while, he kindly offered me his friendship and a spot besides him next lunchtime. It made me feel better. Then he he told me it was his birthday and as a present he wanted me to give him a kiss. I don’t know how I was so foolish, I should’ve known better for what happened that day when we tried on those nice high heels and a bum wanted Rachel to kiss him. I was brainless, naive. I fell under his trap and once I was about to kiss him on the cheek, he grabbed me hardly and kissed me right in the mouth. He didn’t let go. I was scared something else would happen rather than that kiss, that he would rape me, what could I do, I was just a girl, small and vulnerable. Fortunately nothing else happened.

Yours truly,


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