Published on December 20th, 2017 | by Viktoria Valenzuela


We Used to Say, Aww, Hell—We’re Young: POEMS


We Used to Say, Aww, Hell. We’re Young.


Remember the day we met?

The newborn scent of singed hair

and how you said for the first time ever,

“…my son?”



I was birthed of your own winged ways.

Sacred, profane, grackles

gathered overhead,

More knowable in the lacuna of sky

than perambulating terra firma.


I’ll inhale this acrid light of day;

As savorless as yesterday.

Let the birds gather overhead,

Overcast, overdue, overwrought.

Oh, black and insipid,


I know too well

The ways in which

My collar lifts;

I only want to join you.


Once, we were young.

Sleek and sonsy.

Now, we are aged


Blackened since first dreams.

Mother, unbirth me.

Unbirth me.

Take me home.


Early Hour


Kindly ceaseless; the first light of day. Warm

radiation on the front lawn. I hold in my hands,

the sweet

Face of love, our son.


A dew dropped landscape shifts. New

Palm trees and nopal flowers sprout

From cactus beds. I prickle his cheeks,

Neck, ribs. Kisses to the love of my love.


Swaying at peace, we are fallen

Pecan halves resting inside green husks.

Smoothing the blankets between us,

I’ve the milk to sustain the hour.

Swell Times


In bed, I let it be


Even if I do not make breakfast tacos

Whole wheat tortillas are a no-no.

The ghost of our grandmothers heaving with laughter

Remind that all joy is ours to carry on.

The C-section stitches tighten.

I’ve already passed the floor with him

Kissed and given milk,

Held him to my chest, patted his tiny diaper.


He spins in his mother-made quilt as if still in the womb;

Slower steps mean, I smell blood.

The flow of postpartum that comes with milk letdown,

I was built to feed a nation.

Then, the C-section scar itches like a motherfucker.

A two-faced snake lurks at the pubis and fat of me.

The child pulls against their fain

to stay coiled inside me.

The baby sucks at me for milk.

We lie still in the dark until

The daylight hour softens our curves

Feature photo (mural) by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

All other photos are copyright of the author, Viktoria Valenzuela

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About the Author

Viktoria Valenzuela

Viktoria Valenzuela is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop and has been published in AMP: The Literary Journal of Hofstra University and I Only Wanted One Time To See You Laughing: A Prince Tribute Anthology. Her current work in progress is a hybrid poetry book focused​ on romance and family bonding, postpartum of two cesarean section births in back to back years. Valenzuela and poet Vincent Cooper have six children and live on the Westside of San Antonio, TX. I am open to any and all feedback on these poems.

3 Responses to We Used to Say, Aww, Hell—We’re Young: POEMS

  1. Fernando says:

    The power & impact of mother hood are evident in these strong poems. “I was built to feed a nation” transcends the individual & embraces the universal symbol of woman as nurturer and lifegiver

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