Tortillas de Harina

The stir
and sound of rattling pans.
Mother is up,
and soon
she’ll tell the rooster,
it’s time to wake.

Even when paychecks were lean
and few in between,
when a roof over our heads
ruled the day,
‘cause hunger
fares better,
in-from the rain.

But if there was flour,
tortillas de harina,
would answer the cry
for food in the belly
and all would be good
for the day.

Add to the flour
a pinch of salt, a dab of lard
a splash of water,
and let there be masa.
neatly formed pillows of dough
would line the table,
counted out
like soldiers in formation.

Her rolling pin ready,
to round them
to thin perfection.
Up and down, up and down, side to side
all around,
the rolling pin ever in bounds,
the rhythm commands
to flatten and round.

One by one
she drapes the soft pieces
across her kind hands
and lays them to rest,
on the heat of the comal,
they brown and rise!
a skillful flip,
they brown and rise!
are born a new creation!
Tortillas de harina
warm, pliable and soft.

The smell of freshness
causes our blankets to fly,
and we rise!
to be fed by her love,
su cariño, su ternura.
¡Tortillas de harina,
no pido más!

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