For Shelly Ann 7/10/97 – 3/25/21

How do I describe the love for a child 
not mine in genetics but in a pure love connection?

How do I explain I know it was time for her to get her wings
yet sad because she had so many things ahead to do for this earth.

I didn't birth her but in her words she called me “second mom”
and I felt this to be real.

To feel such love for a bright soul lifted my own and made me whole.

She was so brave to read on stage and I was so proud;
She accomplished all this before I was even brave enough to read my own work out loud.

Started off this bond by calling me teacher but something else inside reached her.
I saw her for the light she was,
told her to write and she said she never knew she could until she took my class.

In her words she told me I awakened her poetic spirit and to think it was amazing and her words mattered.

And as time passed she surpassed all expectations and blossomed like a beautiful sunflower.
Everyone in the room could feel her power.

She said to me that I awakened her love for poetry.
But if only she knew what she awakened in me.
She inspired me to be true to my words.
She inspired me to be heard.

I made a promise that day she took her last breath,
told her that her words won't die at her death.

I intend to carry her legacy because I carry her spirit inside of me.
My baby girl will continue to be.

Her words and spirit I share with anyone who will listen.
I see her everywhere, in the glisten of the sun on the water.
In the air that fills my lungs pushing me to carry her further.
In this way she will live forever.
We may not be together on this earth nor did I give birth to her
but she is my daughter just the same.
Everyone will remember her name.
Shelly Ann was taken too soon but every time I look at the moon I smile and remember her wings are flying her to places I don't understand, painless and free.

She wrote to me saying,
In truth and poetry she will write that book because I believed she could.
She told me she would write until her hands ached because I believed in her first and pushed her to her greatest potential.

Shelly, you didn’t need much pushing. You soared higher than anyone because even if you didn’t realize it then God knew you were someone. A beautiful ray of light like the sun.

She wrote to me once, saying this is not the end, but the beginning.
Her body lost the battle to cancer but her soul will keep winning.

Baby girl, you will not be forgotten.
All of these promises I made to you I will hold true,
and I hope it makes you smile while you fly with your angels wings beyond the sky of blue.

-Kristina Rose Garcia [2021]
In dear memory of my daughter

Published by misskris726

Bronx poet, artist and educator.

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