Coyotes Howl in Fallbrook

in Poetry

Salmon and Hash

for Cheryl Sniedner, Wiyot Elder

By Eszter Delgado

While the salmon cooked this morning,

I thought about the taste,

the smell was so amazing…

swimming up river,

in it’s shimmering skin,

underneath moving water,

the current so strong,

slowing bouncing under pressure.

In your kitchen

I waited at the table

my eyes studied every detail

on your mustard colored walls,

And planted my view on the beautiful photos

of friends, of family, of places you have been.

You filled me with your laughter and said

there’s nothing like your salmon and hash

in the morning next to a coffee cup etched with a redwood.

I melted into the wooden chair,

not wanting to leave this crispness.

I wrapped myself around every word you spoke…knowing that time just doesn’t hold

on enough to moments when things are to

“good to be true”

I could hear the salmon up river

and see the bright pink hue,

hinted by rainbow greens and silver.

The salmon and hash was like nothing I ever had before.

♦    ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦

Eszter Delgado was brought up just east of Los Angeles in a family of seven children. “When you grow up in a neighborhood that is rooted in gang life, you become part of it, even if your parents are the best.” After graduating from High School, Eszter attended college in Humboldt County. She was the first in her family to earn a college degree., a B.A. in Art. She subsequently returned to a lively arts community in Echo Park and downtown L.A., and then went on to Claremont Graduate School and earned her M.F.A. in Art. Eszter now lives in Fallbrook, California, with her husband, two children and four dogs. She is a contracted Artist in the Schools, and soon to be, Poet in the Schools.

A note on the illustration: From the Wiyot tribal website, the Wiyot Sacred Sites logo was designed by Leona Wilkinson. The logo depicts a woman who represents the Tribe. She is shown with no mouth, indicating that the Wiyot people did not have a voice in what happened to them in the taking of their land. The child in her arms represents the only infant found alive following the massacre of 1860, still nursing at the breast of his dead mother. The child also represents the future generations.