Un Corazón de Cerdo – by Gregory Stapp

En el super,

she places on the counter

a cow’s tongue,

a cow’s heart,

a cow’s liver,

in that order,

the same order,

every week,

while getting the groceries

for her madrastra.

Blancanieves, I call her,

my Snow White de Guatemala.


While ringing up her food

I ask again, Blanca, why

do you always place them

on the counter in this order?

She pulls at her hair,

shrugs her shoulders,

and scratches her thigh.

First the tongue,

then the heart,

then the liver.

This is the order.


Some days I see her

in town with her madrastra.

While they wait for the bus,

her madrastra jerks

Blanca’s hair

to keep her

from stepping into the street,

or to make her

ashamed of her beauty.

Then she cuffs her shoulder,

and smacks her on the thigh.

Always in this order.


I go hunting one weekend,

kill a jabalí and take its heart,

and when I see Blanca again


I give it to her

in the store’s packaging.

Para tu madrastra, I say.

Un corazón de cerdo.

She pulls a manzana

from beneath her camisa

and drops it with a thud

behind the liver.

Y esta, she grins.


Gregory Stapp received his BA from the University of Oklahoma and his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. His poems have appeared in Outside In Literary and Travel Magazine, Lime Hawk Journal, Shot Glass, The Ekphrastic Review, and Forage, among others. He recently served as the Poetry Editor for Qu: A Literary Magazine.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is President of the Kansas Authors Club. His poetry book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book.



2 thoughts on “Un Corazón de Cerdo – by Gregory Stapp

  1. I love this poem two-fold for its imaged story line and for its sound. The sharing of both Spanish sounds with English ones is very beautiful. The skill in tapping into two different cultures also achieves beauty. I am lifted and I also smile. Nice work. I will be sure to look for your published work. Annie

  2. What a terrific update of Grimm’s Snow White! Complete with the evil stepmother, a nicely done reversal of the poison apple business, and even the narrator possibly acting as the huntsman! Also, nice work on the order of the parts. Well done!

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