Skip to main content

Catherine Ferrell

Cathy Socarras Ferrell is a second-generation Cuban-American poet, writer, and educator from Central Florida. She finds inspiration in walking (anywhere), family, and the Sandhill cranes in her yard. She enjoys playing with form, space, and the sounds of language. Her work can be found online at Poetry Breakfast (upcoming), Red Noise Collective, Quibble.Lit, sinkhole, and Compulsive Reader, and in the scholarly collection, Shakespeare and Latinidad, edited by Trevor Boffone and Carla Della Gotta. Connect with Cathy at

The day you died I thought-

I want to move around unseen       whisper
my breath over your brow       brush my fingertips       along
your jaw       slack

I’d like to draw your breath            in       for you,
pull           your lungs into a crest               push them back           down

I can only turn, look, trace
lines between motes in the air
hear your voice

that feather on my kitchen floor

Oldest Daughter

A quiet moment:
me, sitting in the morning,
peeling a tangerine

pliant, fragrant,
generous. I breathe

in citrus groves and
pry soft segments apart,
release a torrent with my tongue.

Perched in the captain seat,
I rolled down the window
of the old minivan
stuck my head out
caress of orange blossom
balm of Florida breeze going by         hush

I peeled fruit for breakfast,
for lunch, four plates
at the table. One for me,
three other mouths
always served the youngest first

At my kitchen table,
I turn away from the sink,
the pots, the lunchboxes waiting
to be filled and emptied and filled again
I am

a person sitting,
eating a tangerine

27 Bones

The air on the plane is dry
I sip stale coffee
from a paper cup
Your hands look old
my daughter says.

Abuela left Cuba in a plane
to marry her love in New Orleans.
These hands will never wash
or dust or cook
, he told her.

Years of bleach and Palmolive
left delicate lines and folds
papered across the whorls of her knuckles,
the backs of her sun-mottled hands.
Her nails were always tapered, polished.

In Cuba, we had evenings
to dance in our frills
the band played so late
we walked
beautiful ladies waved
from their balconies
to their novios below.
We had a finca
I remember the chickens
It was so hot I thought I’d help
I plucked one live to cool her off
qué pecado
She died
I remember our cook’s buñuelos
tan rico
sweet anise syrup dripping
and always a cafecito
Mama sent me to art school
Did you know that a frog has 50 bones?
I had to draw them all by memory

And sabías que a hand has 27?

I don’t know what else
she drew
I can’t ask anymore.