to hold raíces

I spoke Spanish before
I spoke English learned
how to translate
before I could spell        mamá 
my mother tongue         my ancestors 
survived my fathers dehydrated mouth 
stranded at sea              5 days / 90 miles 
for this :
this is for mamá
who sat me down
eye to eye
at the kitchen table        taught me
how to roll my r’s            her patience
with each grain of
beauty in every petal of every
rosa roja
showed me how to give
to be
cariñoso —
taught me how to hold raíces in my mouth