The Old Woman and Her Dog by V. Conejero

She was there every summer
The old woman and her dog
 
Smiling and catching the sunrays
By her building’s entrance
Next to the funeral parlor’s garage
 
Thin and long-haired
Clad in a flowery dress
A light-brown, large dog
At her feet
 
She smiled at me
I looked down and only curled
A corner of my lips
 
My grandmother too had a dog
Small and reddish brown
With a white underside
 
Her name was “Muchi”
Short for Muchachita, young girl
She was always by my abuela’s side
 
My grandmother died
In August of 1980
Five months after leaving Cuba
Ten years after we came
 
Mom and Dad flew to Miami
I could not and stayed in New York
One Adiós was enough
 
A decade earlier in Havana
I ran back to her
Wading through our crowded porch
To hug her again
 
Retreating into our big old house
Abuela said, “Nos veremos la semana que viene!”
Somehow I knew we would not see each other
“Next week” or ever again
 
When we spoke over the phone
The day she landed in the USA
Her voice was not her own
It scared me
 
The morning Abuela was no more
The old woman and the dog
Were still in their places
 
I crossed the street
Afraid of her smile
I had to be brave
Going out into the world
 
Two or three summers later
They were gone too
The old woman and her dog
 
Many years have passed since
I rarely walk on that street anymore
I still see them
The old woman and her dog

###

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One thought on “The Old Woman and Her Dog by V. Conejero

  1. Pingback: The Greenwich Village Literary Review, Spring 2014 Vol. I, No. 1 | The Greenwich Village Literary Review

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