McAllen: Our Rinconcito

McAllen: Our Rinconcito
(© Priscilla Celina Suarez)

Dancing on bare feet
as I jump into my car, I hear ama
remind me
not to forget the pan dulce
before heading to wela’s house.
KTEX slowly drowns outside noises
as I slip on my chanclas
and Bo Garza’s I’m home 
catches my attention –I’m home, everybody I’m home.
The air-con on full blast
competing with the 105° heat index
Tim Smith predicted. ¡Ay, que calor!

There’s nothing like a blue coconut raspa
from Young’s Snow Wiz
to cool off with during the Dog Days of summer.
Driving off from my parent’s home in McAllen
the scent of citrus groves
swims in through my car windows.
A quinceañera’s baile
drumming tunes from a neighboring dance hall.

De Alba’s bakery is but a moment’s drive
the scent of fresh corn tortillas
and empanadas hitting me as I walk in.
Los Tigres del Norte on the intercom
belting out Golpes en el Corazón.
“Pero tu que me has dado golpes en el corazón…”
Golpes en el corazón
are sometimes the memories
that have brought my familia closer.
A viejito pays for his tamales
and asks for extra salsita. With his accent
and sombrero, I cannot help but think of my abuelo.

I slip back into my car
and change the station –
Ramon Ayala sings about Un Rinconcito en el Cielo
A little piece of heaven
is belonging. It is listening to cumbias and corridos
while studying at the library – knowing the best taquitos
and papas asadas can be served from a food truck – it is
using dichos and getting your point across.
Being an English speaker
and somehow having a strong ‘che’ accent –
it is looking forward to the fall
because our Winter Texan friends come home – this little piece
of heaven is acknowledging your roots
will always holds on.

It is remembering our home
is a community that warms
because it forever embraces us.
This is our rinconcito.