The Woman Across the Street

And other childhood memories

By Maria Reyna
Published on LatinoLA: December 19, 2005

The Woman Across the Street

I was kind of a weird child:

We had a great big back yard. I used to spend hours playing in that vast desert. Not one plant or a single tree, just a stump. How evil to cut down a tree.

I used to water that big patch of dry, dead land but nothing ever grew.

Once I stuck the garden hose into the ground while the water was on and I kept sticking that hose into the ground and it kept going in deeper and deeper into the ground.

It must have gone all the way to China. When I tried to pull it out, it was stuck. It wouldn't come out. I pulled and pulled. I was pulling with both feet and hands with all my might but nothing, not an inch, came out.

I panicked and thought I was in trouble because I couldn't get the hose out of the ground. I ran in the kitchen, looked around got the biggest knife I could find and cut the hose with the knife. That hose is probably still in the ground and still nothing ever grew except for a few weeds.

The woman across the street from our housem Do?a Tomacita, had a lot of flowers, plants, herbs and trees in her garden. I used to run across the street when I saw her outside watering her garden. She used to tell me stories about the plants: how La Yierba Buena got its name. She use to give me cuttings off her plants and I would go plant them in my yard. Sometimes they would grow but most of the time they wouldn't.

We did have some grass and two little trees in our front yard.

I loved watering those trees and the grass. I would water till it was soaked and marshy, till the earth couldn't possibly absorb anymore water.

It felt so good between my toes.

I remember the sound of locusts and how they use to shed their skin. Sometimes we would catch them and they would pee -- probably from nerves and terror -- poor little things. We used use to tie a string around them and have them buzz around. They were kind of ugly but cute and fascinating to look at.

I haven't seen a locust in a long time.

About Maria Reyna:
Maria Reyna is a Painter/Photographer,Writer/Poet,Artist. Ms. Reyna is currently writing children's stories. Contact M.Reyna at Mmiaculpa@aol.com. To View some of M. Reyna Artwork: www. mreyna.deviantart.com

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