Sopa de paloma.
Does mama pluck them?
From the fence?
From the street?

Before she chucks them,
not from the sky,
but brethren
with feet upright
into the pot.

Does she fetch a price for their beaks?

Do the eyes get so hot,
they burst?
Not chicken,
the birds?

Do they come from allá?

The pigeons in the soup
perched on roof ridges,
not pollo,
but bludgeoned herds,
not frozen,
but all bones and sofrito.

No lo entiendo.

Mama looks to mommy being told
Deja la niña,” as she cooks.

Tell me quick!
With haste!
Do they know what I sip?
La paloma, not poultry.
Will I ever be forgiven?


– Rachel R. Vasquez, ?/?/2014

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


My mother once teased me as a kid that “mama”, an elderly woman who I loved as my grandmother even though she wasn’t, was actually feeding me pigeon soup and not chicken soup. Of course, this was a lie, but I might’ve believed it a little at the time. This poem was inspired by that tall tale. Thanks, mom. 🙂

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