Roots

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by Monic Melgoza

My abuela yells from the kitchen

“ya vengasen a comer”

And like a swarm of bees we huddle around in thanks of her blessings.

The food is rich,

The kind of rich the wealthy wish they had.

El sabor a un hogar, a home,

That is what it tastes like.

She sits and observes,

As her children and their children feast

Smiles on all faces with simple frijoles and tortillas.

Nothing lavish, but always enough for all.

Mariachi music playing in the background,

The same song for the 100th time

Yet she sings along as if it was the first.

“Me recuerda a mi rancho”,

That’s what she tells me.

The place she grew up with her eight brothers and sisters

And the fields her father worked,

Engulfed by the rays of the sun as the sun rose

And kissed by the moon and stars after night has fallen,

“Nada feo como aqui en los estados”.

La pobreza never scared her,

De ahi vengo.

She is the image of an Aztec princess grown old.

Strength oozes from her pores

Y el respeto no te lo pide, se lo das.

 

She clears rooms with her ferocity,

And joins enemies with a simple gesture.

These are my roots

Stemming from my grandmothers kitchen to the city I live in

The distance is far and I get home sick

And I assume she does too.

But this is her home now,

Within us she says.

Her coming was not easy,

And the struggles get harder every day

“Pero aqui estamos”,

And she reminds us how the torch has passed from her hands to ours.

Barriers stop us, and we are not wanted

But the queen has given her orders

And us busy bees get to work.

The need pushes us forward,

To make our culture proud,

Ourselves proud,

Her proud.

We are her hope.

To plant roots in the States,

The lands of her people,

And have them grow.

For that she says,

Is all that will become of her.

She will be the roots and we the flowers.