Mango

Anna Denniston - Ecuador


May 25, 2019

Banana, pineapple, mango 

for breakfast before school. 

On days we’re running late, 

just the mango, 

cecause mamá knows 

it’s my favorite. 

Afternoon naps next to Danny; 

Lulled to sleep by his game’s sounds 

off gunshots and bombs and footprints 

on gravel that I can hear 

even now.

And then a soft nudge to show me the butterflies 

that he knows 

are my favorite. 

Mamá does my hair 

each Tuesday for Spanish class; 

Two dutch braids, tight 

and straight down my back

‘cause it’s my favorite way. 

and mamá boils special leaves in water

and pours them over my head 

to help my hair grow

because she knows long hair 

is my favorite. 

Danny shows me YouTube

videos of rappers, 

motorcycles, fancy cars 

of Messi and Ronaldo, 

Try Not To Laugh, the Best of 

The Simpsons, or FreeFire, 

and baseball, 

my favorite. 

Piled in the car, Mamá driving, 

winding through our valley,

turns up the radio for Sin Pijama, 

which she knows is my favorite. 

Saturday mornings of Uno 

on our roof. 

Danny brings the cushions

from the couch and we sit, 

him in the shade and me in the sun, 

singing Changes and Joana. 

He plays them for me, 

knowing they’re my favorites. 

Coffee with milk 

and Butter on my sandwiches. 

My bedroom windows open 

to let the breeze in,

and running to watch the novella. 

Lipstick that match my shoes, 

the view of our valley from the top of the hill, 

going down into Carpuela,

and mango batidos in Juncal. 

I’m on the roof, 

stretched out in the sun, reading. 

Mamá comes up with freshly cut mango, 

laughing, calling me her queen, 

and I dangle my feet over the edge and look out 

over the valley.

The deep-orange mango in my mouth, 

so sweet. I can taste it

even now. 

Anna Denniston