Grandmother Recalled In The Earthy Smell Of Beets

November 18, 2015


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Betabel Rojo

Sabor de tierra húmeda

la cual nunca he probado antes de hoy.

Lo curioso es que ya sabía tu sabor

por las manos de mi abuelita que a hace

mucho tiempo te pizcaba.

Te jalo de la tierra madre

Te pisco en los campos de Nebraska de los fieldes de Wisconsin.

Tu color mancho sus manos

tu olor se impregno en su piel.

Recordé a abuelita con el sabor y olor del betabel.

Lo se porque hoy te olí betabel

con el sabor en mi boca de la tierra de mañanas húmedas, y otra vez estuve allí abrazada de mi ella. 


I wrote this because my political vision would be nothing if not for my grandmother. She taught me about El Union, about caring for my neighbor, caring for those who didn’t have, and to cherish what we did have.

Mi Abuelita came here to the United States as migrant worker. She picked beets, corn, and many other vegetables.

I wrote this poem after eating beets that were given to a class in which I was subbing. The beets were from the Community Garden (CSA) program that gives their harvest to schools with a high percentage of kids on the free/reduced lunch program.

None of them had tasted fresh beets, and until that day, I thought I hadn’t either. The moment the bag opened and we passed out the snack; the entire room filled with her, mi abuelita’s smell! I held back tears while eating one, I watched the kids inspect them, eat them, and admire their color. I knew then, that it wasn’t my first time, eating one. I just never knew I had.


Araceli Esparza is a poet, writer, and teacher.

2018-01-19T17:52:45+00:00 Tags: , , , , , |

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