Daughter Lands Borders

I’m from the land of no apologies

of no forgiveness

of something you did when you were seven being held against you

from set bed times and daily chores:

that one load of laundry, empty the trash, sweep the floor

nothing in the sink; nothing on the floor perfection

A family of Latinas who call each other deep die cut names

imprinted and wrong on our light and dark skin equally

white girl.  brown girl. both.

I’m from households without tv or  Spanish

with loud Mexican music on a Saturday morning

to accompany cleaning

playing on an exquisite stereo

I’m from you don’t retire

you work until you die

from you aren’t supposed to have bills; pay cash

i’m from trust no one

i’m from generosity doesn’t call attention to itself

pristine vehicles and manicured lawns

because no one is going to call us out

i’m letter writing

taking it to the streets

making sure the powers that be

change their minds

whether they want to or not

I am dark lipstick

and hoop earrings

of never going outside in sweatpants

I’m on the altar of Our Lady of Guadalupe

and she watches over us all

standing up to the darkness

blue robed; gold starred

a force field of prayers

both answered and still asking for more

(with apologies to George Ella Lyon’s I’m From)

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