by Violeta Garcia-Mendoza
Praise the sirenwail, the barking that accompanies
the fire whistle, that whips itself into howling
for its own sake; praise
the slam of car doors, the passing traffic’s bass.
Praise the neighborhood, the neighbors,
the neighbors’ toddler’s outside voice,
his practice hellos; praise
the full cacophony of outside play—
even the sidewalk chalk’s skip-squeal,
even the basketball bounced again and again.
Praise the tumbling hoofbeats
of sneakers in the dryer, my son’s gallop
down the stairs; praise
the toilet running— still, again.
Praise the drawershut’s rattle,
spoonclatter in the silverware tray,
the clink of stacking plates, the coffeemaker
percolating, ding of the microwave.
Praise the constant dialogue
poured over the days; talking
talking talking; praise
even the squabbling, even my daughters’
Buzzfeed quiz result debates; my son’s
many recountings, the hockey
even the Minecraft zombie sound effects.
Praise my husband’s throatclear,
praise the housefly buzzing in the key of F.
Praise the cicadas, the hydrangeas blown
against the bathroom window; praise
the wind-chimes, the whisper-press
of pages in my hand; the poem,
however it descends. Let’s call it
music— all of it. Praise
my daughter’s pencil drawing rain,
the actual, sometimes incessant rain.
Violeta Garcia-Mendoza is a Spanish-American poet, writer, photographer, and teacher. She is a member of Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops and a reader for Split Rock Review/Press. Her work has appeared in a variety of venues online and in person. Violeta lives with her family in Western Pennsylvania. You can find her online at https://www.violetagarciamendoza.com and on IG @violeta.garcia.mendoza.