No Twisted Bones

For my grandmother Rafaela

My Abuelita Rafaela died,
And as she lay there sound asleep in that shiny coffin,
I imagined no twisted bones.

I imagined she didn’t have to trudge through mud
And sprain her feet as she walked down fields,
Row upon row of methyl bromide and sulfur.

I imagined the poison not slithering and soaking into her skin
While she battled the sun to reach the succulent fruit,
Fruit fit for a fine day’s brunch.

I imagined no twisted bones.

I imagined she didn’t have to wear a sweater for protection
Or look like a bandit when the thermostat read over a hundred,
Her shoes heavy with mud making it harder to walk.

I imagined she didn’t have to ride in the rickety brown truck,
Every bump tormenting her already sore body,
The hot valley air burning her tender skin.

I imagined that the horrid demon arthritis
Was not attacking her hot body under a cold shower
Or her painful rheumatism crippling her legs.

I imagined the beautiful blankets she would have crocheted.
I wish I never saw her cry while looking at her hopeless fingers
When I hugged her, I hoped I could take her pain away and
make it mine.

And in my scarred memory
I wish I had only imagined her pain.
I wish I only imagined her twisted bones.

Wendy Fernandez