Martha Iris Rosas

Martha Iris Rosas roots are in the Caribbean (Borikua and Cubana), but she grew up in Washington Heights far away from the beaches and farmlands where her parents and ancestors were raised. It has always brought her joy to discover the many ways in which her parents and community integrated bits of the Caribbean into their daily lives. As an educator and perpetual student, Martha is interested in keeping these ways of being alive.


My father is in the living room
sitting in his rocking chair
while he smokes his daily cigar

Behind him
on the barred windows with the golden green curtains
the two avocado plants my mother grew from seed
have grown tall

She is in the kitchen
simmering the onions and aromatic herbs
she will use to season our food tonight

Outside the closet in the hallway
the broom leans upside-down
placed that way by my mother
to keep the neighbor from knocking on our door again today

We are in the bedroom
supposedly still taking our naps
but actually watching the boy in the building across from ours
as he steps onto his fire escape to water his grandmother’s plants

The sun has yet to set

For a moment
our house is silent


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