Wishing for Cicadas, poem by Genevieve S. Aguinaldo at Spillwords.com

Wishing for Cicadas

Wishing for Cicadas

written by: Genevieve S. Aguinaldo


once my husband told me
on our way to the pharmacy
how they changed curtains every week
when he was young

not even the silkiest ones could escape
the dust from cars and trucks
passing them everyday
as if taunting their decision
to even attempt to clean their house

his brother suffered the most
going to the city clinic
to rent a nebulizer
monthly, weekly, twice a day
scared to become a burden
even if he kept on losing his breath
in a lottery
of doctors too tired to care

his mother teaches 6th graders
at a public school
boasting of exchanged secrets
over noodles
and bread
whenever she meets
with the principal—
a meeting usually
to cement her loyalty
a meeting always
a time away from her son

as we paid for our inhaler
and got ourselves ready
my husband prayed for his lungs
while I did for my sanity

one week to be somebody else’s daughter
one week of pretend affection
all for a photo-op
in a place where breathing
could never give me peace

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