And His English Is Good

Adrienne Aggen

My mother says in between
bites of tapioca, “You can’t possibly like Mexicans!”
and propels a sharp, hallucinatory look over to my father,
who is otherwise engaged in the leather recliner.

“They’re awfully short!” she snorts, mouth chockfull of pudding.
“But, I suppose they are good workers.”

I want to say, “Mom, you have pudding all down the sleeve of your blouse,”
Instead, I eat another deviled egg.

Anti-Hispanic sentiment runs rampant in this house,
vying for first place on our political incorrectness list,
nearly trumping our slang for Brasil nuts.

I explain to her that Gabriel is tall, at least six feet,
and is studying economics at the university.

“Oh?” she replies. Pudding. Pudding. Pudding. And
she’s up and out of the kitchen in a wild force of skirt, gale-like.