Cover art by Diana Breyer

Papas y Frijoles
by Joanna Vidaurre-Trujillo

Papas y Frijoles Book Cover - copyright Joanna Trujillo

Cuentitos y Poemas para honrar a mi cultura
Short Stories and Poems to Honor My Culture

This collection of poems and short stories is presented to the reader in the traditional northern New Mexico Spanish of my youth. The language, which is, in fact, a dying dialect, is simple, comprehensible, and unadorned.

Each poem and short story is a depiction of a particular moment, either real or imagined, of a distant past. The subject matters are diverse. They cover family, friendship, challenges, faith, wisdom of experience, strong work ethic, women with gumption, self-sufficiency, and survival, birth, marriage, death and the deep-rooted belief, brujeria, witchcraft.

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$22.00 each

Sample Stories

Papas y Frijoles

Agüelita me llama
por la ventana de la cocina:

“Melita, deja el perro.
Ven a comer. Siéntate aquí junto a mí.
Cuidao con la silleta, está pinga.”

“Oye mi hijita,
¿te lavates las manos?
¡Curri lávate!
Echa agua con el jumatito en el bandejita
y refrégate bien las manos.”

“Vente, siéntate.
¿Qué quieres comer?
¿Papas o frijoles?”

Potatoes and Beans

Grandmother calls
through the kitchen window:

“Melita, leave the dog alone.
Come and eat. Sit by me here.
Be careful with the chair, it’s wobbly.
One leg is shorter than the other.”

“Listen my dear,
Did you wash your hands?
Go wash them!
Pour some water in the washbowl with the little dipper
and scrub your hands thoroughly.”

“Come on, sit down.
What would you like to eat?
Potatoes or beans?”

El Agüelo

aparace redepente en la Nochegüena
sin dale chanza a la plebecita
de esconderse debajo la camalta.

Es un Agüelo viejo y achucharrao
‘stá molacho y corcovao.
Tiene cabello largo y encanecido
Mamacita dice que viene
de un lugar desconocido.
Trai botas negras y un cute pardo
como el que se pone mi tío Ricardo
cuando sale a dar los días.

The Agüelo (Boogeyman)

appears suddenly the night before Christmas
without giving the children an opportunity
to hide under the bed.

He’s an old and wrinkled Agüelo
he’s missing teeth and bent with age.
He has long grey hair
mother says that he comes
from an unknown land.
He’s wearing black boots and a gray coat
like the one my uncle Ricardo wears
when he goes around singing in the New Year.

Illustration by Patrick Trujillo