Daddy Smiles

I picked up daddy smiles at the local supermarket

I am the pinto bean daughter shoveling for a bag in between all the clattering carts

and the women picking vegetables and the babies stationed

plastic bags swishing, hands picking, eyes observing for flaws


Daddy you elbow through the people for that one dollar fix

You search for the women in the white apron who shovels the oven fresh bread of your delights

sign reads: PAN CALIENTE


You pack and seal the exuding bread,

What an art it is

How delicately your thunderous hands move

What a shock it is

For those hands live on the imprinted walls of mama’s home

And live fixed in my eyes like warning signs

He moves to and fro


What an unruly place for such an exchange,

For the warmth of the father burns, burns, and suffocates like the perspiring bread at the mercy of your terrible brown fingers.

The only warmth I have known came in grocery bags packed by your vision daddy

walks to a cart among the potatoes


There is mama contemplating the meats!

You find me debating the potatoes, you find me in my quiet gaze….

y cambiamos sonrisas a medias.

no words spoken


Among aisles and aisles of pre-packed angry disillusions

Mama and I come to and fro to this daily routine

You conspire your wicked disguise as you push through the meats, the dairy, and the canned aisles of your neatly tangled rage.

There is Mama!  Cashier register rings


But there you are for the peaches,

Oh those mangoes who deliciously lie for you!

A daughter’s curtsey rages inside me as you crucify the moment with your tobacco breath, “adios mija.”

….at the local supermarket I pick up my daddy smiles.

Time elapsed two minutes

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