If America Were Great

I cannot stand by and lie

to the people my family left behind in another country

and tell them that we live great lives

 

I cannot look them in the eyes when I think of the confederate flags I see hanging outside

white homes

filled with people whose ancestors killed mine

and yours 

by stringing us up like tire swings for their children

 

I see others flaunt my heritage like costumes

turning my beloved culture into cruel jokes

worn on halloween 

meant to be "funny"

 

How do I explain what it's like

to have people follow you in department stores

and poke fun of accents that soothed your fears when you cried

 

I wish I could explain the hurt and fear that creeps into my veins when individuals 

i thought were friends

turn their backs on me because of

"cultural differences"

"my parents don't want us hanging out anymore"

"it's okay, all mexicans have issues"

skin color

language

freedom

 

I want a time for my children to thrive 

and make friends without ever feeling left out because of their mother

who has taught them how to make menudo

who braids their hair at night and sings Sabor A Mi

while she makes their lunch

A mother who stood up for herself 

and ingrained that fight into them, too

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community

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