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Our Childhood by Casandra Hernandez Rios

Photo by Robert Collins

Our Childhood

We survived it

Two brothers

One sister

And me

Quarantine weekends

No pandemic

We were poor

No money for Happy Meals

No time for beach days

No love for lazy Sundays

Hands could never be idle

Our single mother had ordered

Hands scrubbed surfaces

Fingers reached corners

Feet danced with broom

Strength of bleach a perfume

Windows barred the outside

Boiling water on stove

Beans or rice submerged

Chicken or beef on counter

World pandemic

Indefinite quarantine

We are prepared

We don’t need much

Two brothers

One sister

And me

There’s love for humble food

Gratefulness for helping hands

Recognition of soft hearts

We know that animals help heal

& that all nightmares end


The Author

Casandra Hernández Ríos received her MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction, from CSU Long Beach. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and Journalism from the same school. Her fiction has been recognized by Glimmer Train Press, and has appeared in In Parentheses, The Acentos Review, Golden Streetcar, Spectrum Literary Journal, Verdad magazine, Two Sisters, and the Santa Ana River Review. She teaches English at Golden West College and Long Beach City College.

Casandra Hernández Ríos

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