Bioethics Blogs

Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, a poem by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

This poem is metaphorically from the cutting room floor, meaning that it was cut from the original manuscript for my novel-in-verse, Under the Mesquite.  My editor at Lee & Low Books, Emily Hazel, and I both agreed that given the nature of the manuscript, our intended audience, and the gentle treatment of the cancer in the rest of the narrative, this poem was too complex and a bit too graphic to be included in the final draft.  To this day “POPOCATEPETL AND IZTACCIHUATL” remains one of my most beloved poems.  I share it with you as an ofrenda, a humble offering, in gratitude for the wonderful reception, support, and warmth bestowed upon me during my author visit to the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine on October 25, 2016.  I hope you enjoy it.
All my best,
Guadalupe Garcia McCall

POPOCATEPETL and IZTACCIHUATL
Eagle Pass, Texas – Spring 1983

For months, Mami has lain
In her bed in a medicated
State, moaning.  And for months,
The little ones, Angie and Roxy,
have crawled into my bed
And whimpered like puppies
As they listen to her cry out,
Scream, and hallucinate.

Today, I did the unthinkable.
I told Papi it is time to call 911.
I told him it is better for Mami
To die in a hospital than have
My little brother and sisters
Remember her like this for
The rest of their lives.

He looked at me through
The slits of narrowed eyes,
Called me Malinche through
Clenched teeth, and said
He will not.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.