The Sunday Poem.... Sirena Rayes' "Esperanza Drive"

Sirena Rayes is the 18 years old daughter of the poet featured last week, Mitch Rayes. She is the only one in her family who was born in Albuquerque, and is very happy to hold the first generation slot. Writers on the other hand, show up in her family repeatedly from generation to generation. Luckily that gene made it to Albuquerque, and Sirena is honored to have held a pen long enough to be considered one of the poets. The past two years she has been proud to be a student of the Voces program, which is a month long intensive writing workshop, among so many other great things. This past year the program won the Bravos award for literary arts. Sirena has performed poetry throughout this city on many stages as well as many sidewalks and feels very priveledged to have that choice.

Esperanza Drive

I grew up
on hope
esperanza drive
somethin' funny
about sitting hope on top a stop sign
hits me a little
too close to home

built of 1930 adobe
after all these years
dirt is still

a block off Central
street names
take on a whole other meaning after dark
wrong turns wait
at every sharp corner
most who walk here gave up
on asking
what's right

so what's left?
sometimes bullet holes
sometimes dandelions
sometimes childhoods
so far grown
they've forgotten
a child ever existed
before hood

and I don't always remember
the grass
or how those blades made me feel safer
than any knife in my pocket
or that breeze
on beautiful
no strand standing still

I was still
but there are photos
that graph me close enough

take a hit
or miss
and I do
I miss it

***Speaking of missing and hope, I hope you'll be able to attend the annual Poets & Writers Picnic in Mountainair at the Old Shaffer Hotel for the fourth Saturday in August (the 28th) because, among many poets, Sirena will be featured. I think her father Mitch Rayes will also be featured... It's an event you won't want to miss!

Submissions for the Sunday Poem always welcome. Write to and send poem, bio, pic.

Views: 272

Comment by Poet Oishi on June 20, 2010 at 10:24am
Stunning, Sirena! You father must be so proud of you today, Father's Day.
Comment by Barelas Babe on June 20, 2010 at 11:09am
I really like this poem's rhythms and your spin on hope. Most excellent work and truly, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

On another note, as a parent of a participant in the Voces Writing Institute, I have to say this program is a real gem. (I just wish they had a similar program for older folks - I'd sign up in a heartbeat!)
Comment by lisa gill on June 21, 2010 at 11:54am
Love the word play and compression of this.... Sirena is really a poet to watch! As are many Voces students... they are getting a great education I say just having completed a degree program that didn't feel so grand...
Comment by bg on June 21, 2010 at 1:41pm
Well done, Miss!

And thanks to the Ditch Rider for another Sunday hit, even though today's Monday.
Comment by cc on June 22, 2010 at 8:00am
Yes, Sirena, your poem Esperanza Drive's compression and word play and meaning - everyone else has already described it well here! I totally agree. You have a well-honed vision, Sirena.
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 22, 2010 at 2:41pm
Hey Sirena, I love the poem--the pace/rhythm, the truth, the locale, visuals--rock n roll! Come to our fundraiser for the Slam Team fundraiser/bookexchange (lots of good books coming in to sell) Merimee
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 22, 2010 at 2:41pm
Fundraiser Yard Sale/Help Send ABQ Slam Team to nationals St. Paul Minn.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
8:00am - 4:00pm
Merimee and Randy's Yard--corner of Parkland Cir SE and Laurel Drive
816 Parkland Circle SE 87108
Albuquerque, NM

View Map
Saturday Yard Sale June 26 8-4pm sat
Please bring donations of anything usable and marked with a value/price now thru right on thru the sale dates. (Early is better.)
Drop at Merimee's or Dustin & Jess's house now thru time of sale!!!
Everyone donate something, please!
Call Merimee or Dustin for pick up of large items or anything you need help transporting.
The poets will be dropping in and out:
Stay tuned for "Yard Sale Performance" times.
Call Dustin 350-9778
Call Merimee for truck pick-ups 205-0370 or 262-2508
Call to schedule helping out times--pick a two-hour slot to help sell, etc.
Free coffee and scones for helpers and poets spitting poems to a yard sale audience!
Corner of Parkland Circle SE and Laurel Drive --(2 blocks south of Ridgecrest Park, one block east of Carlisle Blvd. Or 8 blocks south of Carlisle and Central--)
Comment by Richard Read Oyama on June 23, 2010 at 11:28pm
Sirena, I love this couplet "but there are photos / that graph me close enough," and feel the ache of longing for a child gone too soon. There's consolation in talent, and it's here . . .


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