the desire to do something that you know you should avoid
The holes in the wall are covered over and left unpainted, his bed pulled away from
temptation, nothing for him to peel away.
recite with musical intonation
No more getting wet in the johnny pump or standing with two fisted hands out in front of me, a dime hidden in one,
Dumb school, dumb school, which hand's it in?
cause to come to know personally
The story wakes up and walks all over the room. Sits in a chair, crosses one leg over the other, says, Let me
handwriting in which letters are connected within words
I want to say, No, my name is Jacqueline but I am scared of that
cursive q, know I may never be able to connect it to c and u so I nod even though I am lying.
having or marked by unusual and impressive intelligence
You look so much like her and she is SO
brilliant! then wait for my brilliance to light up the classroom.
make an error
Wait for me to stand before class, easily reading words even high school students
learn by heart
Words come slow to me on the page until I
memorize them, reading the same books over and over, copying lyrics to songs from records and TV commercials, the words settling into my brain, into my memory.
form a mental image of something that is not present
And even though we've never seen an ice storm we've seen a birch tree, so we can
imagine everything we need to
become resolved, fixed, established, or quiet
But I don't want to read faster or older or any way else that might
make the story disappear too quickly from where it's
settling inside my brain, slowly becoming a part of me.
worry unnecessarily or excessively
If someone had been
fussing with me to read like my sister, I might have missed the picture book filled with brown people, more brown people than I'd ever seen in a book before.
an auxiliary activity
We hear you making up all those stories.
We used to write poems.
It's a good
hobby, we see how quiet it keeps you.
the sum charged for riding in a public conveyance
We are people paying the same
fare as other people.
hold firmly and tightly
It's hard not to see the moment—
my grandmother in her Sunday clothes, a hat
with a flower pinned to it
neatly on her head, her patent-leather purse,
between her gloved hands—waiting quietly long past her turn.
become less clearly visible or distinguishable
We wave again from the taxi that pulls out slow down the drive--watch our grandmother, still waving, grow small behind us and our grandfather, in the window,
fade from sight.
butterfly with orange wings and black and white markings
No one believes me when I tell them
I am writing a book about butterflies,
even though they see me with the Childcraft encyclopedia
heavy on my lap opened to the pages where
monarch, painted lady, giant swallowtail and
queen butterflies live.
a revival from inactivity and disuse
There are horses and cows in my story even though the main point is supposed to be the story of the
expressing finality with no implication of possible change
Did you know God's word is
small shop selling groceries, especially in a Hispanic area
But some days, when it's raining and Mama won’t let me go outside, I see them on the block, their fingers laced together, heading around the corner to the
bodega for candy.
administer a sacrament signifying spiritual rebirth
When Maria's brother, Carlos, gets
baptized he is just a tiny baby in a white lace gown with so many twenty-dollar bills folded into fans pinned all over it that he looks like a green-and-white angel.
small porch or set of steps at the front entrance of a house
We take our food out to her
stoop just as the grown-ups start dancing merengue, the women lifting their long dresses to show off their fast-moving feet, the men clapping and yelling, Baila! Baila! until the living room floor disappears.
showing regard for others in manners, speech, behavior, etc.
We are good kids,
people tell my mother this all the time, say,
You have the most
permit without opposing or prohibiting
At home, we aren't
allowed words like stupid or dumb or jerk or darn.
allowed to say I hate or I could die or You make me sick.
allowed to roll our eyes or
look away when my mother is speaking to us.
an earthy type of jazz combining it with blues and soul
My mother lets us choose what music we want to listen to as long as the word
funk doesn't appear anywhere in the song.
But the summer I am ten,
funk is in every single song that comes on the cool black radio stations.
Witnesses believe there's a wide road and a
narrow road. To be good in the eyes of God is to walk the
narrow one, live a good clean life, pray, do what's right.
box in which a corpse is buried or cremated
Ashes to ashes, we say at the grave site with each handful of dirt we drop gently onto his lowering