by Jose Hernandez Diaz
I realize she is no longer a little girl. No longer will she read
Where the Sidewalk Ends. She will find new books, new authors,
New characters, and new worlds. When my niece refuses to get
The piñata candy, I realize she has moved on from candy to boys,
And makeup, and clothes. No longer will she plant flowers
In the garden with her Abuelita. Except maybe when she’s an adult
And comes full circle. My niece, the first niece and grandchild in the family,
Almost as tall as me, already. Her father was over 6 ft. My niece,
No longer the baby of the family. No longer does she like the nickname,
“Goober.” Sounds like a baby name. Her cousin Alexandria, now
Has the reigns of baby of the family. Their tíos, tías, abuelitos,
And parents: all blessed by their presence—forever familia.
Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020). His work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Crazyhorse, Georgia Review, Huizache, Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, The Los Angeles Times, LitHub, The Nation, Poetry, The Southern Review and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He has been a finalist for The Andrés Montoya Prize, The Colorado Prize, The Akron Prize, The Wisconsin Poetry Series, and The National Poetry Series. Currently, he is an Associate Editor at Frontier Poetry. He teaches creative writing online through Frontier, Litro Magazine, and other venues.