Folar de pascoa
Jason R. Montgomery
When I was growing up our neighbor Jessalina used to make Easter breads with a hard boiled egg in the center.
Folar da pascoa,
but I didn’t know
until I was 45
and googled it
for this poem.
The bread is sweet and soft.
The egg is plain and still in the shell.
She would sneak over the brick fence between our houses to leave the still hot loaves on the window sills
of the bedroom I shared with my two brothers.
I didn’t understand why she didn’t come to the door.
I get it now.
She came from Portugal. They knew grandpa was from Cape Verde and treated us all like long lost cousins who had been taken into the wilds by an ocean storm only to be found again by the fishing men. We were family to be reminded of man's ways.
Jessalina told me the bread was pregnant with the body of the world.
I felt like a predator.
Her son had died in the long sometime before me. She kept an identical photo of him in a brown frame in every room. His body lay in the center of a cemetery in the Whittier hills.
Jason R. Montgomery, or JRM, is a Chicano of Indigenous Californian/Mexican descent writer, painter, community artist and engagement artist from El Centro, California. In 2016, along with Poet Alexandra Woolner, and illustrator Jen Wagner, JRM founded Attack Bear Press in Easthampton, MA. Jason’s work engages the cross-section of Chicano/Indigenous identity, cultural hybridization, post-colonial reconstruction, and political agency. His writing and visual art bridges the aesthetics and feel from the early cubist collage movement and the Russian abstract movement of the 1920s with living and historical Transborder Indigenous and Chicano art traditions to explore the Post-colonial narrative through active synthesis and guided (re)construction. JRM’s work has appeared in Split Lip Magazine, Storm Cellar, Ilanot Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and other publications. Jason is one of 2021 Newell Flather Awards for Leadership in Public Art outstanding nominees and 2021-2023 Easthampton Poets Laureate. Jason is also the co-founder of the police abolition group “A Knee is Not Enough” (AKINE) in Easthampton, MA. They are also the founder of the annual Holyoke Community Ofrenda, the police transformation group A Knee is Not Enough (AKINE), and various public engagement projects.