“From My Room Upstairs” by Sydney Mantay
my flushed cheeks
from hot red
resting on the wood floors.
My daddy hand laid them.
The mahogany grain layered with purple heart,
worn down and smoothed by my bare feet.
Scratches from practice in high heel shoes
water marks from misplaced pool towels
with luggage and storage boxes.
I lay on the floor,
eavesdropping from above
to hear how their late night conversations have changed.
They talk about money, dreams
Never enough money,
too many dreams
and their worry for me.
The familiar words put me at ease.
Her dirty finger drags a dry tear
from eye to cheek
“Don’t leave me” she begs.
she hangs onto my ribs.
She has had to leave
and be left
more times than not.
“Habibti,” I say through guilt rid lips
kissing her uncovered baby hairs.
My tears make red mud
from the dust on my skin.
I can hear her mother’s words
on her behalf,
“My sister, I love you!
But I can’t remember
Biographical Note: Sydney Mantay is a second generation Argentinian writer based in South Florida. Sydney’s heritage fuels her writing and desire for adventure. She has traveled to the Middle East where she worked with Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni Refugees. She continues to engage with the local Refugee community in South Florida.