When I was 5 she taught me to Mambo

Shaking my little girl hips with Mambomania

She and I, dancing around the room

Grooving to Perez Prado’s Cherry Pink

And Apple Blossom White until he’d come home

Smelling of liquor and women

Stopping the music every time

He walked through the door

Staggering, stumbling, bumping into furniture

While cursing and swinging before falling

Against the phonograph knocking the Mambo King

From his throne, stealing our magic

That made us dance Mambo, Merengue

Cha-cha-cha to Afro Cuban drums

She packed our bags while he was passed out

On the sofa, his slobber staining the green

Flowered pillows, she carefully put Perez

Into his album cover, slipped him into a suitcase

Then took my hand to walk down Avalon

To catch the red bus, smiling and humming

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White

My mother’s music that made magic.
by Aurora M. Lewis
Gemini Magazine
Aurora M. Lewis' new
Forget-Me-Knots, is
available from
erbacce-press. A graduate
of UCLA's Creative Writing
Certificate Program,
Aurora has published
poetry and fiction in
Dreamers' Reality, the
Battered Suitcase, Up the
Staircase, and
enter  HERE