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,
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.