High School Scholars spend a lot of time writing creatively in REP, STEP and for exposures. We are excited to publish our first literary journal to showcase poetry, short stories, essays and art by our Scholars and staff. The Schuler Journal will be available in August, so in the meantime enjoy these selections!
ODE TO THE GREEN MANGO
By Rebecca Quinonez '17, Waukegan High School
That is bitter and
Unlike the ripe ones that are yellow on this inside
And leave your hand stained with juice.
I don’t particularly like green mangos,
But I’ll eat it with my parents
With salt and pepper sprinkled on.
It reminds them of home, I think,
Even though it’s not exactly the same.
So I don’t mind the forty five minute drive to
The Vietnamese part of Chicago where the store is
That has just the right mangos.
My dad is excited when he walks through the door,
Picking the greenest of the green,
Doesn’t care how much they cost,
One of the only times I’ve seen him so carefree.
He doesn’t wait till we get home to start eating,
He has a baggie full of salt and pepper and Marie Sharp.
He washes the mango with water from a plastic bottle
And eats while he drives.
He doesn’t let go of the mango,
Holding it between his teeth when he needs both hands to turn.
I take pictures of him eating it.
Send the picture of his face twisting from the sourness
To the family group chat.
But eventually he has to stop eating.
The sourness has become too much.
And for the next couple of days,
Green mango is eaten by my parents in a rush
Trying to finish them before they ripe
Before they’re no longer a reminder of a place they left behind
Twenty one years ago to give my sister and I a better life.
They eat while we watch tv,
Giving me the parts that are already ripe.