Abuelito and Abuelita play hopscotch with the words Lime and chili words, blood, sun, and dirt words They brought across the desert to los estados unidos The pale land, without gods They brought the words to California Before faces as dark as molasses filled the streets Mexico hid under the bed in a suitcase But the words wouldn’t die La lengua lived on Secret, and blossoming Behind the walls My tongue is bleached Soy gringa Sin historia, sin cultura, sin, um, identity No hablo very good Where are my roots? My skin is white and my words are white Though Mexico thrums in my veins Pero, Si no tienes la lengua, no existes
Rights & Access
This poem was submitted for the "Poetry for the Mind's Joy" project and is reproduced here with permission from the author. All rights reserved. Poetry for the Mind's Joy is Poet Laureate Kay Ryan's project that includes a community college poetry contest administered by the Community College Humanities Association and a lively videoconference.
Las Positas College, Livermore, CA
Faculty Advisor: Toby Bielawski, English Department