La Noche De Reyes Minus The Night, poetry written by Mari-Carmen Marin at
Daniel HC

La Noche De Reyes Minus The Night

La Noche De Reyes Minus De Night

written by: Mari-Carmen Marin




The new year is five days young and you
become a little girl through your son.

Three weeks back, you helped him write
his I’ve-been-a-good-boy letter to Baltasar

and put it in your mailbox, flag up. He
did not want a piece of coal for disobeying

or answering you back, so he’s proudly waiting
for the tricycle and other gifts los Tres Reyes Magos

will bring tonight. In the evening, Melchor, Gaspar,
and Baltasar parade through the streets of your home

city, riding their two-hump camels, their pages
tossing candy that you and your son catch with a big

plastic bag. It rains confetti that kids, big and small,
on foot, in strollers, in their mothers’ arms, want

to touch, little fingers dancing in the air. It’s
time to run home, clean shoes, place them

in the living-room under el Belén abuela
put up before Christmas. You leave leche,

turrón, and agua fresca out for the travel-worn
Reyes, some alfalfa for their rides, and get your son

ready for bed, tuck him in, tell him to fall asleep
fast so that Los Reyes can come and leave

his presents for him to open in the morning. You
have to run one more errand—the helmet

you couldn’t pick up earlier from the closest
Toy Planet in El Centro Comercial.

It’s dark and empty. You’re driving
your mother’s car—Christmas songs

on the radio, thoughts of your son’s big eyes,
big smile in the morning floating on your mind.
An intersection.
A traffic light.
Red. Stop.
Green. Go.
Screeching tires.
A speeding car.
Your foot
You _ _ _

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