Not This Year Grandma

by Aisha Mango Borja

Aisha! says my Columbian grandmother,
Aisha, your ears need piercing.
She inspects
the two
pure ovals
on the side of my head,
and I picture her
among my disapproving aunts,
needle like a sword,
apple like a shield
in her hands
and suddenly
as if she had tapped a baton
on a sheet on of music
it starts: Are you a girl?
Girl? Girl?
Yes, I say and now
only my brother
can save me
but next year he won’t be so cute
and the needle will still be waiting.