For those lamenting the proliferation of politically-themed posts? Get over it. If you still labor under the illusion that you can go off into a corner and meditate until you’re shining blinding light, walking on water, and blabbering truth in tongues without engaging humanity, then you’re lost.
Realization is here, right now, in the midst of it all…
[Note: Thanks to my new friend Karen’s interest, I’ve been inspired to delve once again into the race “issue.” I’m also sick and tired of listening to the poorly thought-out blathering of racial conservatives (most of them black!). So I will be finishing my series on racism in the near future. Anyone interested read the intro first (click here) and then the first part “The Denial of Racism” (click here)]
Poem in Two Voices: Ancestral Roots
Aurora Levins Morales
The last part of my series on race will offer a Latino/a POV of race because I feel we offer an alternative that can open up a more constructive duialog on race. Rosario Morales and Aurora Levins Morales, mother and daughter, wrote
"Ending Poem" about who they are and their ancestors' contributions to
their lives. The poets feel that their ancestors' ways of life are part
of them, but each poet believes she is also a new and unique individual.
I am what I am.
A child of the Americas.
A light-skinned mestiza of the Caribbean.
A child of many diaspora, born into this continent at a
I am Puerto Rican. I am U.S. American.
I am New York Manhattan and the Bronx.
A mountain-born, country-bred, homegrown jibara child,
up from the shtetl, a California Puerto Rican Jew
A product of the New York ghettos I have never known.
I am an immigrant
and the daughter and granddaughter of many immigrants.
We didn't know our forbears' names with a certainty.
They aren't written anywhere.
First names only or mija, negra, ne, honey, sugar, dear
I come from the dirt where the cane was grown.
My people didn't go to dinner parties. They weren't
I am caribena, island grown.
Spanish is in my flesh, ripples from my tongue, lodges
in my hips,
the language of garlic and mangoes.
Boricua. As Boricuas come from the isle of Manhattan.
I am of latinoamerica, rooted in the history of my
I speak from that body. Just brown and pink and full of
I am not African.
Africa waters the roots of my tree, but I cannot return.
I am not Taina.
I am a late leaf of that ancient tree,
and my roots reach into the soil of two Americas.
Taino is in me, but there is no way back.
I am not European, though I have dreamt of those cities.
Each plate is different.
wood, clay, papier mache, metals basketry, a leaf, a
Europe lives in me but I have no home there.
The table has a cloth woven by one, dyed by another,
embroidered by another still.
I am a child of many mothers.
They have kept it all going.
All the civilizations erected on their backs.
All the dinner parties given with their labor.
We are new.
They gave us life, kept us going,
brought us to where we are.
Born at a crossroads.
Come, lay that dishcloth down. Eat, dear, eat.
History made us.
We will not eat ourselves up inside anymore.
And we are whole.