by Sarah ChristianScher

I do not drown them lightly
mi hijos
I do not hold little heads beneath the river
simply to see the life bubble from their mouths
so many bubbles
so many years
more than I care to count
small hands holding mine
warm at first then cold and clammy
their limbs tangled in my hair
pale twigs in the river grass
I wait with their bodies
for the families
for the mothers
for the wailing
I want to see my own weeping face looking down at me
La Llorona
to know that in grief
esta mi familia
and when mothers curse my name
I know that I am not alone

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As a child, I remember my grandmother telling me stories about La Llorona, werewolves, and other wondrous things. Those stories are the mythology of Mexico, of a people who still believe that spirits and other strange beings walk the Earth with us and if you are very unlucky, you might just see one.

IMAGE: “La Llorona” by Sean Wells. Signed posters available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah ChristianScher is a grad student at Cal Poly Pomona. She’s a full-time scientist and Wednesday-night poet. She lives in Southern California with her husband Ian and their pet cactus Paddy, the Irish Cactopus.