Sunday, February 5

the darker you are

I'm taking this summer-winter Sunday to get every last bit of just enough light while I sit here on the porch putting together the poems I want to read at an open mic next week. The sky is light purple blue and the moon is already glowing, but there's still enough light. It's such a treat.

This is something new that I just worked on. I've tried to get this feeling across many other times, but this is the only attempt that has even come close to expressing how I feel about the matter.


Were you mad when your indio daughter gave us
a revolutionary name
a hard to say name
names with r’s that roll-
and tanned her skin to
deep, dark brown, parted black hair,
all the way down to her butt.
There was no mistaking, that she was a shiny happy Chicana
fighting for her rights in her own VW bus
But then she introduced herself as Beverly and
white black brown, were confused.
It’s not quite the movie star name you thought it was,
where did a Beverly come from?
She drove from East LA to Commerce, knew she was poor
really poor,
but she had her NO accent tounge,
perfect Spanish on the inside and her name,
no-ita can be added to that!
She’s pure, three syllables of
you fit right in.

You gave her this,
because she didn’t come out with milky skin
or eyes like a messy blue storm.

You gave her this,
and she passed it on.

Didn’t you understand
what happens
when people get here?
They want to be
More
American
More
not what their skin
or voice
or smells
or sadness shows.

Were you mad when you found out that your granddaughter wishes more than anything to speak Spanish like it rolled right out, all natural, no books, no photographic memory to learn the tenses.

Were you mad to find out
we are who we really are?

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Flickr photo user: gold_leaves

4 comments:

Natalie (Fashion Intel) said...

Your poetry makes me like poetry, and that is something I thought I'd never say. Really, it is so beautiful and this piece especially touched me. "...wishes more than anything to speak Spanish like it rolled right out, all natural, no books, no photographic memory to learn the tenses." That's how I feel.

Dyan said...

i love your poetry too, marisa. thanks for sharing this one with us :)

Silvia said...

I love this, too. I feel like I've read some parts of it before, maybe in another poem?

mari said...

Thanks everyone, your support of my poetry means a whole lot!

Silvs, I did steal a stanza from another poem, it felt right to include it here.