Poem - Tafolla - Feeding You


       Feeding You


I have slipped chile under your skin

           secretly wrapped in each enchilada

           hot and soothing           

           carefully cut into bitefuls for you as a toddler

           increasing in power and intensity as you grew

           until it could burn           


           silently spiced into the rice

           soaked into the bean caldo

           smoothed into the avocado

           I have slipped chile under your skin

           drop by fiery drop

           until it ignited

           the sunaltar fire

           in your blood

I have squeezed cilantro into the breast milk

          made sure you were nurtured with

          the clean taste of corn stalks

          with the wildness of thick leaves

          of untamed monte

          of unscheduled growth

I have ground the earth of these Américas in my molcajete

until it became a fine and piquant spice

           sprinkled it surely into each spoonful of food

           that would have to expand to fit your soul

Dear Mijo, Dear Mija,

Dear Corn Chile Cilantro Mijos


is your herencia

This  is what is yours

This  is what your mother fed you 

to keep you


                  by Carmen Tafolla

As heard on Texas Poets Podcast - May, 2016

This poem first published in Yapanchitra,Calcutta, India, 2006, by Carmen Tafolla