"Food & Family" by Don Dias

I like food. I like ice cream. I like my sister’s cooking. She makes Indonesian dishes. What a feast with vegetables, rice, pork, beef, peanut sauce, hot sauce, pork fried rice, nasa goreng. Please stop me before I dream tonight of my sister’s cooking, waking up to Wheaties in the morning, breakfast of champions.

My sister Mary or Marion as she likes to be called has been homeless but has recently returned to her old job in mortgage or something like that after a bitter divorce that has accumulated legal fees of $6,000.

I think I will treat her to ice cream. I like food. I like ice cream. I like my sister’s cooking. I like Mary or Marion as she likes to be called.


"Hobo Stew" by Reneene Robertson

More than a meal
A lesson for us all
If we share with others
Even when we can’t afford to
The resulting mix can be delicious
And nourishing for all


"La Isla" by Jose Ornelas

He would run barefoot down Paisano St. toward La Isla where the grey cinderblock houses didn’t have running water but alma y corazon were plentiful. The river surrounded his neighborhood on three sides, just like a big American hug, welcoming and promising. There, mama would be making tortillas by the glare of a bare lightbulb. The side to side slap of the dough would continue to be a welcome rythm of childhood memory.

A few years later the new projects in the 2nd barrio seemed like a dream, residents could borrow the lawn mower once a week! Here the sidewalks were not broken, there was a real lawn and street lights. The best part of course was that Marcelino, his best friend, lived down the hall.

Time and again a new roof would signal a new start. Until, the American dream became a reality in the suburbs; his very own lawnmower now occupied the other spot in the two car garage. But no matter where he ever was, the barrio, in the barracks, or on Main Street, it was never home until the tortillas came off the flame, hot, crispy and familiar.


"Hurry Home" by Angeline's writing workshop

Hey, ho, nobody's home.
Love, happiness, peace of mind.
Brightblue sky as far as the eye can see.
Overused chair with cracked leather.
Call me when you get home.
Nailpolish, hummingbirds, pizza, laughing.
A circle of women around a table.
Hurry home.


"What is Family?" by Anitra Freeman

Family are the shouts in the dark that keep you awake
     trying to be invisible under your blankets.
Family is the warm heart you run to
     when everyone else at the rink skates too fast
     and you've cut your knees on the ice.
Family are given to you at birth
     with your eyes and lips and nose.
They will stick to you wherever you go
     and shape how you see
     and what you say
     and how you are seen
Family are found new each day
     wherever you put your heart last.
Family are the people you share bread with,
     and whoever you share the lack of bread with.
Sometimes your family aren't people.
Family is whoever lives under the tent of your soul.
Your family can be as big as you are,
and from birth to death,
your real, real family
are the ones who make you grow bigger.