assorted vegetable lot

Poetry No. 80 – Elinol Lopéz

Free Stuff

by Elinol Lopéz

6th grade, 2007

Once a month
Mami wakes us early
On a Sunday 
We slurp cup noodles and bustelo
Brush our hair, bundle up, and 
Take the A, all the way 
Downtown, con un carrito
Crammed in a cart
Con más gente than ever
Going farther than we’ve ever gone
To the part of the city with 
Glass towers and yellow cabs 

We scurry through crowds of 
Cashmere and cologne
To stand by a cobblestone
On a line made of 
Madres, padres, and hijos
Con carritos y frío
Waiting for the door to open

Adentro, it is warm

On the table, there are 
Toys and 
Libros y
Los niños corren and 
Each cojen dos
While the adultos stay in line,
Esperando su turno,
Inching the carritos forward as 
Uno a uno 
They’re handed bags with 
Tin cans and rice, 
Pan y leche 
Papas, y
Los confleis sin azúcar 

Elinol Lopéz is a reader and writer from uptown NYC. In college, she wrote and performed for “The Tidal Self,” a collaborative performance for SUNY Geneseo’s 9th Annual GREAT Day symposium and her poetry appears in volume 30 issue two of Geneseo’s MiNT Magazine. Her short story “It Becomes Me” was published by Digging Press; it was named their 2021 Editor’s Choice Winner and nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Prize. In 2022, Elinol wrote and performed for “Craft & Release,” a poetry performance hosted by the Dominican Writer’s Association (DWA) and sponsored by Poets & Writers, and her essay “Decoding La Doña’s Love” was published in “La Doña: Essays on the Dominican Matriarch”, a DWA chapbook of narratives showcasing the role of women within Dominican households. Elinol obtained her BA in Mathematics with a minor in Psychology from SUNY Geneseo in 2017; she is currently doing environmental health research at Columbia University.

Photo by Matheus Cenali on

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