I am from flowing green fields of maize
and hard-working arms.
I am from chilled rural mountains
and steaming hot summers.
I’m from four grandparents who
brought eighteen children into this world,
Two of whom turned into fearless travelers
and gave life to me in America.
I’m from scorching California summers.
I’m from icy Pennsylvania winters.
I am from a kitchen filled with the smells
of spicy salsa, burnt tortillas, and boiling beans
no matter where we live.
I am from gamblers and Corona-drinking cowboys.
From loud quinceñeras dominated by mariachi and banda music
and drunk dancers trying to eat pastel de tres leches.
I am from late night laughter,
From playing hide and seek with my cousins,
From getting money from my uncles,
and advice from my aunts.
I am from a family who tries to connect with each other.
Across two countries are people from the same place
A bitter old grandfather, a dead grandfather,
One grandmother obsessed with religion,
the other obsessed with herself.
From these four people comes my family and I,
haunted by their pasts and trying to make amends in the present.