“Eleven” (#4)

Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That’s how being eleven years old is.

You don’t feel eleven. Not right away. It takes a few days, weeks even, sometimes even months before you say Eleven when they ask you. And you don’t feel smart eleven, not until you’re almost twelve. That’s the way it is.

Only today I wish I didn’t have only eleven years rattling around inside me like pennies in a tin Band-Aid box. Today I wish I was one hundred and two instead of eleven because if I was one hundred and two I’d have known what to say when Mrs. Price put the red sweater on my desk.

Sandra Cineros’ Woman Hollering Creek and other stories was one of the books adjacent to “my” style. More “intimate orator,” mostly “I” voices on both sides of the Mexican border, on all sides of age ridges, time margins, fragments of sentences that pulse you down into a moment that is like a full breath. Most of the pieces are very short, but they weave together in a kaleidoscope of heat and hope and sadness and connection.




If you are thinking about buying it, how about going here:


Or any other independent bookstore.


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