Memorias de Niños


I remember the church bell at six
When my dog howled on cue, and
I remember that big old dog and the big old witch
Who changed my life forever.
The little thugs in the pharmacy
Who pelted me with water balloons.
They even used a cannon.
The fountain of Lauma with strange magical powers,
The deep secrets of the jungle,
Where relaxation and desperation are the same.
The poor streets of Lurigancho, where
You wouldn’t go after 8 unless
You wanted to get jumped by ex-cons.
I remember “Negros y Cholos”
(don’t freak out: it was a restaurant).
The President of the Republica de Peru (actually Japan)
Who was the reason for me being there.
Professors Carlos y Gladys,
The only teachers who broke me.
The mountains of El Altiplano
Where even an eagle gets air-sickness
(don’t laugh: it’s so cold up there, you can’t even pee).
I remember the day great-grandma died,
The only time I actually cried.
I remember the challenges I face today,
And every time I face them, I remember
All these memories and laugh
(please remind me of these the day I get married).

Jhon, eleventh grade, Del Valle High School

2 thoughts on “Memorias de Niños

  1. I love this poem! The imagery is unusual and so sharply drawn, and the real and the mystical sit side-by-side–comfortably, naturally. But what really makes it perfect are the touches of irreverence (“don’t freak out: it was a restaurant”). Fantastic!

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