Poetry

Dr. Darder has been an established poet for many years. Below is a small sample of her work.

Rican-Woman-Madness is Just Another
    Word for Love

The Great Mother Wails

Café Contemplation

La Hembra

I Hope She Feels the Love

Of Struggle and Reflection

You Say You’ve Got a Program?

Al Amanecer

The Unexpected Reappearance of Don Quixote

Mami Recuerdas

I Hope She Feels the Love

Angry hard looks and a tired face,
worried, always worried,
hot tempered with a streak of violent passion,
this is how I remember you Mami,
it seemed like nothing ever went right in your life,
you told me stories about being abandoned,
abuelita hitting you with whatever
she could fling across the room,
even a knife once,
and you would show me the scars left on your head
as you chuckled with a sad grin on your face,
you were always sad,
and I don’t think you will ever know
how badly I wanted to make the sadness go away,
so your might smile and I could see
that rare twinkle in your dark brown eyes.

I always knew you thought you were an ugly woman,
but to me you were beautiful Mami,
especially when you got all dressed up
in clothes that you designed yourself,
threads as slick as Paris fashion,
and you would dance before the mirror,
but just for a moment,
until you caught yourself feeling like a fool.

I would bet you never knew
I could see into your heart,
how miserable you felt inside,
as if life was never going
to amount to a god damn thing,
then you would cry
enraged at the cruelty of life,
and when you weren’t looking
I would cry too.
as I think back,
life always moved so fast for us,
I never could tell where it was going,
but maybe neither could you,

I remember waiting everyday for you
to come home from the sweatshops,
after long hours of zipper sewing and fabric pushing,
you would be feeling mean, real mean,
a smart Rican woman chained to a machine,
not knowing how in hell to break away,
always poor and struggling
to make it through the week,
I guess you just needed someone
to take all the shit out on,
and I was conveniently placed.

But when I was sick,
you were good to me,
those days, you wouldn’t scream and shout,
like all the other days,
you were a wise woman Mami,
a fighter and a hustler too,
you wanted to give your children
everything you never had
and come Christmas and holidays
you always found the way.

But there were days you hurt me bad,
not just my small child body
but the fragile soul inside,
my legs bruised and face blued
by the force of your powerful hand
swinging across at me yelling
hija de la gran puta,
I hate you, you no good son-of-a-bitch,
till I could feel no more,

Then you would turn on yourself,
screaming, kicking, biting, weeping
for all the terrible hurt you felt inside,
as if you would explode at any moment,
and I would get off the floor
begging you to stop
because I loved you Mami
and I knew deep inside you loved me too,
but this damn ugly hurt
just kept getting in the way.

But, no matter how bad things got with us,
you always made sure i got fed
and drank my aceite de bacalao
and slept enough so I would stay awake in school,
so i would become something,
not to be a slave like you,
you did your best Mami,
the best that you could do
because now i know that this world
is no easy place if
your color’s not right
and you can’t pay the price
for human rights and the pursuit of happiness.

but I would be lying,
if I didn’t say there were times
I needed you to take me into your arms
and stroke my face and say i love you baby
and I’m not going to hit you
and you don’t have to fear
that I might kill no more,
instead I just lived holding my breath
and waiting to grow up,
for this being a kid was just too hard a time
and I knew that when i grew up
life would be good,
i would become something,
just like you wanted,
and then you might smile and I could see
that rare twinkle in your dark brown eyes,
and you would never have to look
angry and hard at me, no more.