I think it's been almost four years

I've gone through and counted the days, months, years

in poetry

I think it started

with this urge of expression

from the quiet girl

who listened to the calling

from pen,

and paper,

from twenty-six letters

and some punctuation


I think it grew

with the mind I cultivated

in my heritage,

in the sun,

under the stars,

in the colors of the wind,

and the enchiladas my mamá makes,

the same mind I dipped

in the words spoken

by an expanding world

in the mind I kept

in the tiny notebook

next to my pillow,

and the ink from the pen besides it

it grew stronger

in the words of


and activists

and writers


I became a poet, and

my writing grew

as I struggled

to place myself in a world where

my people are

"rapists and killers",

where I might as well


my first language because,

"You're in America now

and English is what we speak here."


I struggled to place myself

in the land where I was born

or the one whose

language and culture raised me

I could translate my


of being too


to fit in to my Mexican family's

jigsaw puzzle,

my 92-year-old great-grandfather

referring to me as,

"la norteña"

but too hated

to be accepted

to the nation I've been

holding my right hand over my heart for

for the past eleven years,

on paper


on that canvas,

I could paint to my mind's desire,

words and lines, stanzas


every corner, every page

and once that page was full,

I could turn it and there would be more

more understanding,

more empty space for the epiphany

that came eventually


writing these words meant

I could find myself

in the middle

as a mix of both the places

I have roots in

it meant I could be in between,

without being forced 

to choose just one

because no matter how many stanzas

and journals I filled,

I could continue to be

who I am

and I didn't have to side

with one over the other

I could have both


the paper I wrote my

poetry on

never rejected my words in Spanish

or my words in English

in fact,


in poesía,

on the papel,

the two stopped quarreling

like they did in my mind

and complemented

each other

like I had no idea

they could


This poem is about: 
My family
My country


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