The Fisherman - Amanda Rosas

I still see the rust of
bloody fish hooks
under your nails, and
smell the bait decayed
and absorbed like lather
into the skin of your left hand.
I remember the nomadic sand
and sweat crusted on
the calloused, perpetual motion
of your feet as you
patrol the night water
and avoid the hauntings of sleep
and bite of bed.
You pace quietly,
flatly in the shallows
searching the single eye flounder
to carry home like a bundle
over your shoulder.
Then, the spear drops, floats,
sinks away.
The midnight bronze of
the Gulf cloaks you in the melting
metal of shadows and you fold your
humid hands together and stare
into the black ink of concentration
between them. You genuflect
as you once did at seminary,
a plea for forgiveness,
your agony extended to the pardoning
voices of a sea in prayer.

Amanda Rosas is a mother, runner, teacher and poet. She draws beauty, strength and creativity from the Latina women in her family and from her husband and three young daughters. Originally from San Antonio, Amanda works to preserve the memories of her Mexican-American ancestors. She participated in the Twin Cities Listen To Your Mother storytelling event twice in 2018 and 2021 for their pandemic comeback show, and her work has been published by Red Fez.  She teaches Spanish and women’s studies in St Paul, Minnesota, and designed the online Activism Seminar and Latino/a/x Identity course for One Schoolhouse.  As an educator, Amanda infuses social justice, storytelling, BIPOC history and youth empowerment into her lessons. In her writing and teaching, Amanda emphasizes our human connections to one another, inspiring hope and justice for the future of her children and students.