After the Melanoma, by Natalia Ortegon Trevino

They take small patches of skin
like cornflakes from your forehead.
They leave scalpeled wounds to drain out the sun.

A folded card is mailed to us one week later.
Early cancer treated, stamped inside askew.
Next appointment: six months.

The Texas sun might have burned you this way.
But some say it is your first forty eight years
in Australia, where the ozone is thin.

Woven sarapes cover the heads of women
in Mexico. They walk with hands open,
their babies bundled in torn spirals across their chests.

Daughters‚ heads covered like small, Catholic idols,
wrapped in woolen layers, yellow, pink, faded orange,
browning through the fabric, a folded note of warning.

***

Born in Mexico City, and the mother of one, Natalia Ortegon Trevino was raised in San Antonio, Texas and is an Associate Professor of English at Northwest Vista College as well as a member of the Macondo Foundation.  She is a graduate of UTSA’s graduate English program and The University of Nebraska’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. Natalia is the recipient of an Alfredo Moral de Cisneros Award, the Wendy Barker Creative Writing Award, and the 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. Her essays, poems, and fiction appear in a variety of print and online journals. An excerpt from her novel, La Cruzada appears in the Winter 2011-12 Platte Valley Review, and most recently, her essay  “Crown Our Good” appeared in the anthology, Complex Allegiances from Wising Up Press. Her first book of poems, Eight Marry Wives, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press.

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