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As a Child Near the Sunken Ship…

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As a Child Near the Sunken Ship my Father Had Rescued from the Sea by Linda Rodriguez Guglielmoni   Once a blood-thirsty sea star wondered out loud to me, “¿Qué hace tu padre? “¿Consultando libros de carpintería? ¿Mapas marinos?” And sticking their heads out of the sand, a couple of red-eyed jueyes had echoed fiercely, “What is your father doing?” “Consulting books of carpentry? Charts of the sea?”   Then a group of barnacles, their barbed legs waving, had watched their babies swim away with hopes of attaching themselves to the smiling whale. And after they had dried their tears, the crustaceans had called me whispering into my young ears, “Tell him this ship will not be afloat again, now it belongs to us.”   And as I ran away to hide under the...

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The Coconut Man

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The Coconut Man by Linda Rodriguez Guglielmoni Being the coconut man is not a job for me because he’s the man with the machete, he’s the one that eyes you up when you say, “Un coco, por favor.” And if he likes you he picks up a young one for you, nice and cold from the industrial-sized horizontal fridge, but if you don’t say, “please” or smile not quite right at him, he’ll pick out an old one for you, chilled perhaps, but no good.   Old coconuts look fine on the outside, but in the inside, hum, they are lots of trouble. Coconuts know all the moves, when to flower and when to fall, when to fill with water and when to dry out, when to stay home or simply ship out, when to line themselves with a tender jelly, and when to become hard, good only for cooking and...

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OSCILLATION A: Cowgirl

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Oscillation A: Cowgirl by Linda Rodriguez Guglielmoni My horse, Not a flesh & bones horse, Just metal & plastic, bright yellow & blue.   A horse with a western saddle & leather straps, Straps falling, falling from a bar bit, swinging back & forth, And I hang on, my small fingers gripping, gripping tight & I gallop.   Every morning I put on my red stitched shirt, jeans & boots, And I go out back to ride him, ride him hard. I am a cowgirl… & he is beautiful.   My horse stays by my grandfather’s sleepy hamaca. Los primos ride him too, digging into him, forgetting him, Forgetting him under the sun & rain & sticky summer mangoes.   One day he is bare, darkened bones, squeaking back & forth. The...

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Nicole Olivieri Pagan

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WHY PHOTOGRAPHY ABOUT NATURE???: (Click on first photo to enlarge for a slideshow) As far back into my childhood as I can remember I shared trips to the zoo with my parents. My father tells stories of chasing me around the different exhibits and of me holding his index finger with one tiny hand while pointing excitedly with the other. In my later childhood years I recall beach days with my mother, swimming around fish and following crabs, being taught to love what she grew up admiring as a child. We watched the “normal channels”, such as Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, but I always watched Animal Planet and Discovery Chanel before school. I would endlessly enjoy documentaries about wildlife and different places in the world where these fascinating creatures...

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Maruja Toledo

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CROSS-OVER GENES – For years I have questioned the assumption of what is considered a Puerto Rican woman. The principal reason is that I lack some of the characteristics of the quintessential puertoriqueñidad. Some of these characteristics are the following: Swaying As a young woman, I was aghast as my Puerto Rican friends had a particular sway as they walked. They told me time and again that proper Puerto Rican girls had to sway. Naturally, I practiced and took lessons from the best; to no avail. Instead, I have what my husband of many years describes, for lack of a better word, as a “trot.” He even tried to teach me how to walk correctly since he grew up with six sisters and considered himself a connoisseur in this area. One day, I rebelled. I affirmed my...

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