Yo Mama | Fiction | Chicago Reader

Yo Mama 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

I gotta nicey restipe data my sista Maria she givey to me. D'Americani they makey some good stoff and my sist she getta da restipe from a frien. She makey witta pond cake. Oh, my kids dey love dissa pond cake. I likey too. It'sa pond cake ana soma whoop cream. But I makey witta cream likey we makey inna Sant' Ambrogio, eh? You gotta puttey jost a litty bit a liquore in. Makey tastey betty. My husban he likey da anisetta, so I usa da anisetta.

Den, you gotta puttey da ryeberries, fresh ana sweet. Oh, it'sa good. My kids dey wan I makey. So, I tell my litty Gina, "You come by me. We takey bus, nicey. We takey Diverse bus and we go a marketa ana we buy soma ryeberries." She'sa five, Gina. She no go by school, ana we shoppa. I takey soma banani cuz we eaty a lots dem. I takey spinaci cuz they looka good, ana soma broccoli ana zucchini. I gonna makey a nicey parmigiana, maybe.

Ma, den I look. I look ma I canno see no ryeberries. Ma no, I say! Dis canno be! I see inna newsapape. I gotta coupon! I say to Gina, "You go, ana askey nicey da guy. Say, 'Did you gimme please where I canny fine some ryeberries?'"

She'sa too shy, dis one. She no wanna go. I don know why my kids dey too shy. I say alla da time, "No be too shy! Disa you countr, it'sa no mine. You speaky inglese, you talk, you no be too shy! No try to be ignorante." All da time she getta mad, she cry. Dis one, you look inna da face and she cry. She'sa too sensitiva. But I aska nicey an she gonna do, so I say, "Gioia, please, go ana askey da guy." An she say "OK."

She go, ana I wait by her. She come back and she'sa cry. I askey, "Why you cry?" She no wanna tell. I getta scare. I tell, "You say to me why! Dis guy, he tell you someting?"

I gotta five girl and all da time I worry--you gotta worry! Da men, dey figli di putani wit da litty girl. "It'sa danger if you no watch out," I tell my kids. Ma she still no wanna say why she cry. I shut my mouth. But she fine the ryeberries, I pay too much, ana we go. Whena we stan by da bus stoppa she no talk. I come down by her, look inna face, and I say, "You gonna say please to me why you cry?"

Dis time she say, an den I cry too. She say to me, "Mama, why you say me askey for 'ryeberries'? You da mama ma you don know. You supposey teachy me, no me teachy you. You gotta say 'raspberries,' no 'ryeberries.'"

She feel stupid. She tink I stupid, I know. She cry. I cry. But dis no my countr. I canno teachy inglese. I canny teachy to cook da food ana be a nicey girl, ma I no go by school. Even inna my countr I no go by school. I canno teachy inglese.

Ma I no wanna no more she cry so I say, "One day," I tell, "you go by school and you gonna teachy yo mama good inglese"--cuz she smart, dis one. "See," I say, "you teachy me abota da raspberries!" Ana I give a kiss. She no cry no more.

My kids. They so sensitiva.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Rose Spinelli

Popular Stories