For most Mexican-American families
our only heirlooms are stories. Sometimes,
a cross carved by hand or found at a garage sale.
Maybe enough saint candles
for a small, simple miracle.
A box of photos, an album perhaps.
if you’re lucky enough.
Or some old, faded jewelry from a lovestory
that probably played some part
in your small, simple existence.
The best part of every story, of course,
belongs to the voice that told it,
echoing through time,
the tales of our bloodline
paraphrased through generations
a legacy in its own right
and a gift for the next one, if done right.
The second best part of the story, of course
belongs to the recipes we can only hope to recreate.
Not every recipe is a story, but most are.
Recipes are passed down like spells,
the tales of our bloodline.
The specific amount of each ingredient?
Only a myth,
which is its own source of pride.
Counting the heirlooms, I lose my breath
trying to keep count.
I know it is a responsibility; carrying
a family’s history to the present.
To leave a legacy worth retelling.
Something for tomorrow.