advent reflection

Baby Killed in Gang Shooting
Baby Killed in Gang Shooting


i saw two women
meet on the street
     (girls, really)
and not really meeting
more like stalking, assessing,
sizing up, hunting
red and blue
sisters sworn to hatred
and harm because of
babo and trece

throwing their arms wide
flashing words, predator eyes,
and an arrhythmia of speech,
fear and danger permeating
the chains on the ground,
decay clinging to the
skin as the familia
becomes watchful
    (pieces of coal)
ready to be shattered
by the roar of the huntress
and the inevitable sirens

recalling every spaghetti
western ever made, they reach
into their pockets
     (can you hear the music?)
hermenegilda extracting
the end of blue
and the death of red
with sonograms of jesús
and shedding layers
of reptile skin
becoming maría

     ~Terri Stewart, December 2010

Brief Background
The Spanish name Hermenegilda means - she who offers sacrifices to God.
Babo refers to Robert Rios "Babo" Sosa, one of the first organizers of the Norteños.
Trece refers to the number 13, one of the slang references to the Sureños.
The Norteños and Sureños are bitter rivals splitting families and neighborhoods.

Created for Jingle's Poetry Potluck Monday.


  1. Jamie Dedes said on December 29, 2010
    Proundly moving and distrubing. I must come back to read again. The photo of the baby just breaks the heart. Tears. Later ...
  2. Jingle said on December 29, 2010
    vivid capture of street women, dynamic writing... Thanks for sharing... A++
  3. azfree said on January 5, 2011
    This is a powerful piece! Wow. Amazing work!
    1. Terri said on January 5, 2011
      Thank you so much!
  4. kolembo said on January 14, 2011
    Ooo, you're right...I love it! Even though the references are beyond me...but I cause good poetry is like that eh? This one moves in gallops. Its a hurricane, a whirlwind around a simple image, two mother, two babies, two prams. Great thanks!
    1. Terri said on January 14, 2011
      Thanks so much!

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