Not This Year Grandma

Aisha Mango Borja

Aisha! says my Columbian grandmother,
 
Aisha, your ears need piercing.
She inspects
the two
pure ovals
on the side of my head,
 
and I picture her
among my disapproving aunts,
needle like a sword,
apple like a shield
in her hands
 
and suddenly
as if she had tapped a baton
on a sheet on of music
it starts: Are you a girl?
Girl? Girl?
 
Yes, I say and now
only my brother
can save me
but next year he won’t be so cute
 
and the needle will still be waiting.