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The Santa Ana Literary Association included this poem in their "Year In Poetry" project for poets and poetry about Santa Ana. My husband and I met while working at the Santa Ana Post office. His family has lived in Santa Ana for over one hundred years. This poem was inspired by a 1947 photo of my mother-in-law, Mary Cruz Camarillo, on a road in Baja California. The photo was published in 𝘓𝘰𝘸𝘙𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘦 in the issue noted in the title.  

𝗟𝗢𝗪𝗥𝗜𝗗𝗘𝗥 𝗠𝗔𝗚𝗔𝗭𝗜𝗡𝗘

𝗔𝗨𝗚𝗨𝗦𝗧 𝟭𝟵𝟴𝟬, 𝗣𝗔𝗚𝗘 𝟮𝟮


cross the border at Nogales
heading north from Michoacán
to a farm in Palos Verdes
Mama cooks what Dad brings home
and then Pearl Harbor, no more school,
she and Mama, canning tuna

on the wharf in San Pedro
she meets Sam from Santa Ana
poses on a Baja road
her eyes smile straight at the camera
in black and white her lips are red
and then the babies--one, two, three

she loves chisme and casinos
yelling at those stupid Dodgers
three more babies, four, five, six
pork tamales every Christmas
like her Mama used to make
daughters’ fingers ringed with olives

she makes beans for Super Bowl
now her children taste their cooking
wish that they had asked more questions
too much salt, there’s something missing
one, two, three, four, five, and six
Her eyes shine through each of them. 

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So thrilled to be included in this beautiful (and first ever!) online issue #24 of "The Ear." Click here and scroll down to hear me read and discuss my poem "King of California at the Sweetwater Community Church" and also talk about my forthcoming novel with the wonderfully kind Professor Shank. 

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Stanford University's "166 Palms" included my poem 'Barren Women' in the 2020 anthology.  Available for purchase here

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The Tab Journal published my poem "Bedside Book Spines in the time of COVID19" in Volume 8 Issue 5

click here to read the issue. 

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Listen to me read the poem by clicking above

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Quarazine published my poem "How to Open During a Pandemic" in Volume 9, 4/20/2020

(click on link and scroll down past the art to read my poem)

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The Bookends Review published "Carolina Pantoum" in January 2020

That's me and my mom at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 1953ish

On December 8, 2018 I made bookmarks of "Newport Beach" and "gifted" them to the Newport Beach Main Library. Watch the video to find out where to look for the bookmarks. Music by The Mavericks

NEWPORT BEACH

Dunnells sailed into a bay

of blue pacific on a golden day,

called it New because he could,

claimed it his, for mankind’s good.

 

McFadden shipped out beets and grain,

gave the wharf and streets his name.

Early settlers, profiteers,

proud of being pioneers.

 

Tourists dreamed of orange trees,

traveled trains to swim the seas,

built their mansions, docked their boats.

Their own heaven, their green coast.

 

“Ours,” they said, “in God we trust.

We found this first and we are just.”

Ignored old graveyards, buried bones,

ground up all the coggle-stones.

 

Forgot that Tongva fished these seas

until the Spanish brought disease,

granted land to Rancho Yorba,

sold to Irvine, paved suburbia.

 

Who decides where stories start?

Who determines those left out?

White man sails into a bay

blue pacific, golden day.