Baby Huey

Baby Huey and Mama Huey.

that’s what my sister Annette called us

back when we were kids

in the Sixties,


always laughing.


You have to be old enough

to remember them—cartoon ducks.

I, small, thin, wagging finger,

Mama Huey.


Annette, larger than Mama,

plump (fat),

Baby Huey.


At supper, Dad:

“Annette, you eat too much.”

She, running away

from the table

in tears

to the bedroom

we shared,

breaking my heart.


“Dad, do you have to?” I ask.

I’m seven, going after her

to see if I can soothe,

make her laugh.


She and I—

a life of diets.

I, as a teen, turned 


She, in her twenties, began

the way of

The Knife.


Decades followed of:

Fill this out.

Laser this away.

Cut this off.

Lift my chin.


Slit my throat.


Annette’s last








And she never even got

to be the




for all to come and see, which 

she used to laughingly brag about

with wide smile and a

flare of her surgically-slimmed upper arms.

“My luck!” she would have said.


Her ashes

arrived in my

mailbox months later,

in a small, black sachet—

all that’s left of my

laughing buddy,

my beautiful

Baby Huey.


My cousin Rosario      

I don’t usually write poetry, but here’s one I wrote six years ago as the Spirit moved me.  It was a tough time for me and also Rosario then, and I sat down and wrote this as he was pulling out of his parking space in his car to go home after spending a weekend with me after not seeing each other for over 20 years.  In those 20 years, his older brother had died suddenly and my older sister, same.  Also, his father was my favorite uncle and my father, same for Rosario, both of whom had also since passed from this vale of tears.

Here’s the poem, and the link at the bottom to where I had posted it originally on my blog about my novel by the same name.

My cousin Rosario                                                    by Valerie Serrano, April 21, 2012

My past pulls out of the driveway.

I swallow tears.


An unnamed loneliness

slides in.


So many decades,

so many stories—



his father’s,

my father’s,

the war they fought that

scarred their souls,

our mothers,

my sister,

his brother.


Back then, he was a kid,

me a teen—

the uncles,

the aunts,

the food,

the fights.


My past pulls out of the driveway,

tearing into the now.


Safe trip, my cousin


My Cousin Rosario