ChismeArte magazine cover for Tales from the Barrio by Los Four and Friends

“Gonzalez & Son” by Marcia Gonzalez
ChismeArte Magazine No. 4, La Mujer, Special Issue, 1977/78, p.24

Gonzalez & Son

By Marcia Gonzalez

Credit: ChismeArte Magazine No. 4

2/25/75 1:00 A.M.

Gonzales & son, a minor, vs. Los Angeles County

Sheriff’s Department, a Political Subdivision,

et al. LASC No. NEC12431



“He would have been a devoted and loving father and husband and his untimely death has deprived his infant son, a minor plaintiff herein, of ever knowing his father and of decedent’s love, attention, comfort, care, society and support. And the right to receive support, as alleged in the Complaint on file herein.”



“That on Feb. 8, 1972, plaintiff, Marcia Gonzales gave birth to a son whom she claims to be the true child of the deceased named. This child was born after the death of M. R. and M. R. deceased, was continuously hospitalized from Oct. 16, 1971 until his death on Nov. 25, 1971 and never acknowledged the after-born child to be his own.”



La Vida Loca, whitewashed epitaphs, pragmatic prayers and my voice screams with the blood of un hermanos mangled body and castrated mind. The sweat of afios pasados flows down the streets that my child plays on. The shadowed face of a mestizo screaming for reprisal, breathing denial fills the empty nights. They tell me I should be glad I do not hunger, but the pangs from discontent leave me starving. They say with time I will become satisfied, pacified- apathetic. But the nightmare of a shackled corpse lying in bloodsoaked sheets wakes me from my sleep. And I can still see the smoking nostril of a 357-magnum pointing at my belly. The innocent child who asks for daddy; What will I say? How do I explain? “Well, mijito, your daddy had his guts blown out by a racist pig and $4,000 in reparations was supposed to make it better.”

When the holidays come we’ll visit la casa de los muertos. You’ll see me cry into wilted flowers. You’ll ask, as you always do, why I cry so much. Why do I wake up at night wet from your tears? But I’ll have no answers.

They said the child in my womb wouldn’t suffer because the union was blessed by god. Well, I don’t believe in god. And nothing is any better. ¿Y la vida loca? It’s barely visible.

Marcia Gonzales