Rick Vasquez(c), 1998

I was raised in Eagle Pass, Texas graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts, concentrating on English Literature and Creative writing. 

Eagle Pass is a border town to Piedras Negras, Coahuila Mexico. Growing up there was a great cultural experience but sometimes the lessons of  life we learned were deadly, other time they were just close to death. One Dead Parent is a poem I wrote for my friend Herby. He was killed in 
a car accident after a long celebration of his daughter's first communion. I wasn't at the scene but rumors have it that him and his wife had an awful argument and in a rage, he left in his truck. The rest of the story is in the poem. Sad but true. 

The other poem is related to a love situation. Teenagers are often high strung and take action without thinking. Sometimes they can kick back and laugh at what happened later in their lives, like I did in my verse, A Simple Lesson In Life. But sometimes they can't because their life ends at the cost of a dumb mistake, like jumping out of a car in a fit of rage. 

Hope you enjoy these two verses. I have others. My e-mail address: aztlan31@hotmail.com- please send suggestions or contact me just to talk poetry or fiction. 
 

One Dead Parent (c), 1998
By Ricardo Vasquez
 
¡Vamos a ver! What can I say? I really don’t know how to talk to a dead homey!  
I don’t know how to act!  
¿Que paso?!! What were you thinking ese?!!  

I guess since you had been celebrating all day long, your daughter’s primera communion,  
You thought you were the man! And like the coyote running through the streets,  
With the Road Runner laughing at his dumb wits, you got behind the wheel and ran.  

But you know what? You were wrong ese. You weren’t the man.  
And I hate to disrespect because you are dead,  
But your just another drunk driver who on this night decided to rest on your deathbed,  
Another who decided to leave a family in struggle and all for one more shot from that stupid bottle.  

What can I say?! Should I fall on my knees and pray? Or should I cry for one whole day?  
Either way it doesn’t matter, your wife and your daughter have begun their struggle,  
Without a father,  
With tears for your grave and guilt for your faith.  

I can feel the pain that flows through the veins of the woman next to me  
As we stare at an open casket.  
Dora is her name. Your mother,  
A woman who struggled through the same thing.  

Hijole, what can I say on this bummer day?  

I mean, I know we all have to go sometime… but man,  
Not now!! Your only 25. You took your own life,  
You weren’t gunned down or knifed.  
I am not saying  that is the way to go  
But that is something we can’t always control,  
Whereas you chose to lose because you knew  
Tequila on the wheel was bad news.  

You should have opened your eyes,  
Realized getting killed was no wise prize, especially for your kid.  

Don’t get me wrong, your wife Isela is very strong  
But a family is just not the same with  
ONE DEAD PARENT.  

Bueno ese, I’m tired of regañandote, So I must depart  
But I must say I feel a lot better now that we’ve talked.  

Hey ese, since you didn’t kill anyone else when you crashed,  
Ask god if he will let you come home for a day.  

Los vatos and I , we want to talk to you, we didn’t get a chance to say  
goodbye.  
Besides, we ain’t afraid of ghost, as part of our barrio Seco Mines, we  
have seen much worse.  
  
 
 

A Simple Lesson in Life-
Refrain don't go insane
By Ricardo Vasquez

It was a 1976 Grand Marquiz, a gray four door car. That is what I remember. 
I also remember wondering as I grasped the dirt between my numbed 
fingers and attempted to peel myself of the road, how it had gotten to 
this “woman vs man” or “lets see who will hurt who the most" stage. 

It was insane how she could drive me out of my soul, 
make it take of in a wind of despair and leave me out of control. 
I had never experienced these feelings before, and man, 
it wasn’t just a painful fall but my brand new boots where also torn. 

We came to this road to check out the green, 
Mesquite trees, the Rio Grande made it peaceful scene. 
Hijole , I couldn’t recall, for my body was in serious pain, 
My shirt covered in bloodstains but I remember thinking 
“I am going to die! We won’t make it to the hospital on time.” 

I looked up to see how scared she was, 
To see if she was running towards me, to hold me in her arms, 
And say “Baby!! Perdoname, I was wrong! Just don’t die on me. Please!” 
And my subconscious terca, still competing, wanting to win the game of 
hurt 
“This will teach you a lesson! We will see who will hurt now,” thinking 
I was going to die. 

But guess what? She was nowhere in sight, the car was gone, 
“Oh no! She left me to die!” was my first thought as my mind 
hallucinated, put me at a funeral scene, candles burning, as my casket 
dropped. 
I could see my mother’s tears, my truck parked on blocks, being stored 
As memory of what used to be me. 

But nope, it wasn’t like that. 
The car eventually pulled up, came to a stop and there she was, 
Pissed of as she could be, kicking my legs and not holding me, 
“What is wrong with you?  Are you stupid? Why in the hell would you jump 
out of the car? I am still not coming back to you, fool. You can be so 
stupid sometimes!” 

I still laid on the floor in pain, blood stained, the mind insane, 
And still in rage, “Man, she won’t budge!” 

“I am still not coming back,” was ringing in my ears, shedding my tears, 
leaving me in fear,  “I will never love again!” I shouted in despair as 
I held her hand, squeezed it and played some Romeo drama. 
But she laughed and played it sleek. She pretended not to care,  “I 
don’t give a damn,” she said as she got back in the car and left me 
alone, once more. 

It felt gacho, I couldn’t believe she had a sancho 
And there was nothing I could do to snatch her mind, 
Bring it back to time it was in love with mine. 
I tried flowers, I tried poems and held her hand while on my knees 
Asking for forgiveness for something I didn’t do. But it was no use. 

I had to get a grip on reality and get ready to lose, for she was gone, 
Her love was now for someone else. 
“Why did she leave?” I asked. 
But, I realized that at that teen age it could have been for simple 
reasons. 
It could have been just for the someone else's looks or even their  car. 
And all this came to late 
Which I thought of  as I walked four miles to get home. 

Soaked in Blood and filled with pain, all because I couldn’t refrain. 

That night was rough, it didn’t matter that I was tough, 
The rubble cut trough my jeans and broken glass was under my skin, 
It could have easily been a death scene. 

There was nothing I could do, only thank God I was alive, 
And admit to a lesson in life: 
Sometime you must refrain and not let every day life drive you insane. 

Peace out!! 
One Dead Parent 
By Ricardo Vasquez 

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