Ocho January Blues

Gloria Arroyo

CONTENT WARNING: HOMOPHOBIA, SEXUAL ABUSE, CHILD ABUSE, DRUG USE, VIOLENCE, AND MURDER

January Blues

A mother so confused

As I lie down in my prison cell

Oh this January hell

The day my son was born

Was my happiest moment

Now his birthday is filled with grief

As I lie down to sleep

 

I was born on January eight

Crying for attention

I got my love & affection

The youngest of three

My to older brothers and me

A family together

Happy & hurting

But what family doesn’t have problems

 

I was raised in the slums of the concrete jungles of Paterson, NJ

Also I was raised in the paradises of Puerto Rico

Torn between love & hate

Because my parents separated

 

I was young & sweet

A total prey

Fresh meat

A man twice my senior

Pledged to love & protect me

So I let him in

& his true colors

 

Were to hurt & use me

Naive I came in tight

He had me loose by the end of the night

Dicked me down

& left me for the streets

This was where lust & stupidity meets

 

Then I put my family in danger

& got pregnant by this stranger

Scared & confused

I was determined to start over

But this man was threatening my life

And the life of those I love

Is this what love and life like?

 

Though in January

I also birth my son

What a beautiful one he was

He just could not want to live life

What happens to a dream differed?

 

A mom I became

Full of joy & pain

Happy to have my son

But sad because of who his father was

So I endured the pain, threats & tears

As my son developed fast

 

Damn 6 months has passed

& all I wanted to do was be the best mom any mother could be

So I let his father in again

 

I lose my mind

My Baby

His Baby

Our son

Dies when I lived

 

In January

I was sentenced to 20 years in prison

All I wanted to do was escape

The black & blues

Of abuse

That cold & lonely night

High off a drug not quite right

Laced was the man’s drug

I could not escape the hallucinations

“I am going to kill you & your family”

“You ain’t shit sell your pussy for money”

“That baby's going to be gay”

“Save yourself”

 

In that dark house

Where the roaches and rats creep

I tried to put me and my son to sleep

But I survived and he died

 

Now every night I cry

Another birthday behind the prison walls

How much I would love

To embrace my son from above

I love you Jose my Ocho

May Jesus Christ

Provide you for the rest of your life

 

8

 

When I look at the sky

Tears fall down my eyes

I am so sorry baby I never meant to hurt you

But I know you are in heaven

And my six month with you

Was best moment in my life

I will forever miss

My son Jose

 

My January Blues

We win & we lose

Hurt & Confused

Lost & abused

My Ocho 8

My first love & first date

I wish God would re-choose

So there is no January Blues


 

Gloria Arroyo #190888E

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Nat. Brut is a proud winner of a 2020 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize