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Dear Abuela

By Lauren Scharhag

Every day, I miss your kitchen,

its odors of garlic and cumin,

watching you roll tortillas,

grate cheese for enchiladas.

I miss the shaded patio, the side garden,

staked tomatoes growing heavy and red on their vines,

fragrant bunches of mint and cilantro.

You told me I must always wash my hands

after picking peppers, but I forgot

and rubbed my eyes. You held my head

under the faucet in the kitchen sink, where,

a few years before,

you had bathed me as an infant.

I miss the rain, how we used to watch it

pour from the eaves.

Lauren Scharhag is an award-winning writer of fiction and poetry. She is the author of Under Julia, The Ice Dragon, The Winter Prince, West Side Girl & Other Poems, and the co-author of The Order of the Four Sons series. Her poems and short stories have appeared in over seventy journals and anthologies, including Voice of Eve, Isacoustic, The American Journal of Poetry, and Gambling the Aisle. She lives on Florida’s Emerald Coast. To learn more about her work, visit:

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