Origins

As a kid, being bilingual felt like broken promises.
“Si hablas inglés, todo será más fácil!”
My mami and papi would say,
with fire in their eyes.

In school, it meant broken English,
like nails on the chalkboard.
In public, it meant I would be my parents’ bridge
towards the American Dream – translating,
hoping I wouldn’t get it wrong.

“Enséñales que no eres del cerro!”
They would say, because for them,
being American meant confidence.

Now that I’m older, it’s like I’m fighting my way back.
Someone once said being born here
is being the hyphen in “Mexican-American”:
Entre dos mundos. No eres de aquí ni de allá.
You’re not from here nor there.

I would speak and strangers would tell me,
“You have an accent. Where are you from?”

And with that curious question,
all my struggles were amplified:
I distorted my name, to make it more “American”
(whatever that means)

I was unaware that my last name had an accent
(subtle identity theft)
I repeated to roll my Rs,
In hope that others would try
to share the burden I have faced my entire life.

And if another stranger would to repeat
that condescending question,
well I think I would say:
“Well, I am from here and there –
Somewhere in between. Where are you from?”

Hi everyone! I started this blog over two years ago, but just recently did I start being more active. A few facts about me are: I’m an English teacher, I am Mexican-American (so many poems I write are about my heritage), I tend to get political, and I love horror. I mainly write poetry about my life, but also about issues that resonate with me. Poetry has always been a passion for me. In the future, I want to start including more short stories – mainly suspense and horror-themed. Please, give my blog a chance! It would mean the world to me! Thank you!

Blog: https://ourhellisagoodlifeblog.wordpress.com/

If you would like to have your work published in The Poetry Bar send your poem, a few words about yourself and the link to your blog and Instagram (if you have one) to the e-mail poetrybar1@gmail.com

3 thoughts on “Origins

  1. I hate this question!

    The so-called Western society seems obsessed with borders and accents (definitely without taking interest in people’s roots and cultures) and by saying these stupid words, individuals simply surround themselves with invisible borders and visas.

    My daughter is bilingual, btw (her dad is English, I’m Bulgarian), so let’s see where she’ll come from…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This Italian/Greek Sicilian
    Iberian Peninsula Hispanic
    North African
    English/Irish
    Western European
    Germanic Ashkenazi Jew
    Retired Old Coot
    Harmonic Singer
    Jazz/Rock Saxophonist
    Piano Pounder
    and former
    coding computer programmer
    with over 90%
    of his DNA noncoding
    and some of that
    maybe Alien…
    ……
    sends his regards!

    Liked by 1 person

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