I Am From


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

as me,

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.

Guide that inspired this poem: 


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