My Heart Is in Pennsylvania

My Heart Is in Pennsylvania
Eva Cruz

I remember the summers in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
when I a little girl. My front yard was a giant hill
that dropped toward the street. The grass scribbled
on my pants when I rolled down the valley.
My Abuelo would yell, Eva, ¿qué estás haciendo?
Nothing! I yelled back. The grass stains
telling on me and getting me in trouble.

The cool, still nights where I would catch lighting
bugs and pretend they were my best friends.
I put them in mason jars and made lanterns
that helped me find my way in the hill’s wilderness. After I completed my quest, I let them go
and waved goodbye to the pulsating, neon lights

I slurped on homemade limber ──Puerto Rican popsicles
that tasted better than any brand name treat. But
I always popped up like a meerkat when I heard the
jingling melodies of the ice cream truck. I sighed
as my teeth sunk into a SpongeBob shaped ice cream.
It dripped onto my chubby, little face, and I later
scavenged the fridge for my next victim.

The best part were our family feasts.
Spanish beans and rice, plantains, and pernil─
Puerto Rican pork roast, that tasted better
with each bite. We sang and danced and I hoped
that my knowledge of the words
Hola and gracias would carry on a conversation.