The blue ribbon in my doll's hair, the tin
can in the wardrobe pretending to
be a woman, the glass bowl I used to
eat green jello, the dinosaur bone
I hid beneath the tamarind tree,
the peep-toe pumps that made me feel
like a peacock, Don Clemente's bingo game,
and the 5 mysteries I strew amidst 50 Hail Mary's.

I lost them all.

Because I brought them to the fair thinking
I needed my own pieces, because I couldn't
decide between Clementine and carmine
for my nails, because I re-arranged the shoe boxes
so that the pink one would be at the bottom of the
pile but still too high for anyone to reach, because I took
too long in coming and going and coming and
going to explore my options between paper
and plastic, because we moved our clothes
to drawers, and because I also lost a hairbrush.

But I need the ribbon for my own hair,
and I have loose change that needs storage,
and I learned that if I wash my dishes I leave almost no footprint,
and I don't plan on going anywhere a dinosaur bone can't,
and I am tired of playing dress-up and I know now how to share
and I've decided I like yellow like the corn kernels we used as markers
and I want to know where I put my belief in rituals.

About the Poet

Elsa Hernandez was born in Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, Mexico in 1988, but moved to Livingston, Texas at the age of 6 with her parents and sister. After one year of living in Texas, her family moved back to their home town in Mexico for a brief period and then came back to the United States. They relocated to a small apartment in Chamblee, Ga where they lived for 5 years. Her youngest sister was born in 1997 during their stay in Chamblee, but they bought a house in 2000 and moved to Norcross, Ga in Gwinnett where her parents still reside. Elsa is currently enrolled at UGA and hopes to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in English (with creative writing as an area of emphasis).