Thursday Poem

The Love for My Culture

Maybe it’s the Spanish running through my veins
That’s the only way I know how to explain it
Maybe it’s the r’s rrrolling off my tongue

The love for my culture reaches the sky
The love for my culture will never die
And while you get up and have your milk and cereal
Siempre desayuno con platano de mangu
Not no cheerios
I always mix it up
Con salsa y merengue
Constantly side ways glanced at
Like, she speak no ingles
Yo si puedo hablar, ingles y espanol
Hasta puedo entender dos y tres

Confronted with problems like immigration
Forced to have my parties down in the basement
Confined to the more popular story that my family
Criss, crossed, and slid past borders
Trying to find a new place to live
Guilty of chasing paper
without papers
but when that visa is blinking green
It’s saying
“Go, go m’jita! Fight for your dreams!”

See, My mother came here with a belly full of
liberty and hope
She bore them both
the wiping out of my roots made legal under oath
invisible legally but
constantly contributing economically

Corporate America doesn’t want to see me
The fields y los barrios embrace queen
My culture has this game on choke hold
Americana y Dominicana
means I’m worth gold
With traditions so deep
And a passion this strong
The love for my culture
Will forever live on

by Elexia Alleyne
from Split This Rock