Rheingold Days (For Pa)

Beer-air whiffing, dancing children, 

Memories of you blurry,

Steamed Summer of 1965,

Ribbed-cotton, sleeveless tee-shirted, boxer-shorted Father.

Off-pitched singing, sipping tall, icy-cold wet Rheingold,

The Dry Beer,

“En Mi Viejo San Juan,” 

sonorous chords trapped inside fire-escape rusted labyrinths,

Where we grew chubby red tomatoes inside empty tin Bustelo cans,

and glorious Morning Glories, too.

Our Garden of Rodriguez,

On West 109th Street, 

Between Columbus and Amsterdam.

Mami cooking special Arroz con Gandules, 

“It’s Sunday. Your Tio Jose will be here soon!”

Roberto at bat,

Top of the ninth,

Yanqui Star Pitcher fails to strike him out.

“Botala! Botala!” sang his smiling five children.

Pa, you too longed to kiss the cheek of the moon,

And lick from foamy heads of stardust galaxies,

And feel the spirited pride of a home run.

Asi Es La Noche, Para Jack…

Cuando la noche llega, 

y la luna, siempre sonriendo, 

Yo pienso en ti,

Mi faro de Nueva York, 

el barrio de mi nacimiento,

Su calor todavía mojado en mis brazos.

Por que? No se.

Asi es la noche…sin ti.

Y. Rodriguez was born in Manhattan to Puerto Rican parents. Y. Rodriguez is a published, produced, and award-winning playwright and director who has had her plays produced in Off-Broadway theater companies throughout Manhattan. Her short story collection, “Urban Folktales: A Collection of Short Stories,” will be published by Read Furiously Press in 2023. Ms. Rodriguez is also a professional musician and songwriter and performs with her band, AYOKA, in venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.