Everything You Need to Know About the 5th Grade

by Mireya Perez Bustillo


She knew that the vision would come on the corner elm tree because
she was so good in
school she heard that Our Lady came to the three children of Fatima
and that St. Ignatius
fell wounded then found the Lord and was saved and that St. Genevieve
saved the city of
Paris from that barbarian Attila and that St. Lucy gave her life for
her faith and they took
her eyes so why couldn’t she have the vision too so she stared at
the tree ’til her eyes
teared and when she entered the church she kissed the ground because
maybe the vision
would come then maybe the statue of Our Lady would come to life so she
always made
sure her shoes were shined and her navy uniform skirt and white blouse
immaculate and
her nails short and clean and her ears washed because she wanted to be
ready for the
vision and in classes at St. Bart’s the white habits of the Dominicans
swished through the aisles fast as the sisters drilled her in grammar,
spelling, and the exercises to focus
on the stories of the saints like the martyrdom of Joan of Arc who was
just 14 and a warrior and savior of her nation maybe that’s why she
wasn’t interested in playing jump rope but would walk around with the
sister on duty so she could catch a glimpse of the elm tree



Mireya Perez Bustillo: Mireya’s poems invoke a powerful array of spirits. Her poetry appears in Caribbean Review, IRP Voices, Anthology of Colombian Women Poets, among others.