Why Can’t You Just Listen?

for Sean-Michael

I wanted magic, towering firs a-flicker with enough fluorescence
to outlast us all. I brought us to DC to make new memories, restring
your recollection with the fragile ornament of our new family,
but after three days of monuments and lost gloves and dinosaur bones,
my hand tightened into a vise around yours. Your body refused to yield
to my annoyance, oblivious to the bounty I tried to hustle you past,
as if a boy of seven, raised on palm trees and balmy yuletides
could resist a pickup truck packed with snow. Nothing left to do but snap
your picture, a moment I chose to record rather than inhabit.

Enough, I said
and for the hundredth time that day—

Why can’t you just listen?  

As if I listened
to your laughter as it disappeared into the air,
to the crunch of ice as you ran, giddy with cold,
to your innocence as I calculated
how many minutes I could afford to allow.

When you think back on that day, I hope you forget I scowled, remember
instead that for a moment I forgot myself, smiled at you as snowballs flew.

—Caridad Moro


BIO: Caridad Moro is a first-generation Cuban-American who was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in Miami, Florida. Her chapbook, Visionware, was published by Finishing Line Press as part of their celebrated New Women’s Voices Series. She is the recipient of a Florida Artist Fellowship in poetry from the State of Florida, as well as a Pushcart nominee. Moro is a Professor of English at Miami Dade College, as well as an English instructor for Dade County Public Schools, in Miami, Florida, where she resides with her partner and their eleven-year-old son.