From an exercise based on George Ella Lyon’s poem, Where I Am From. This is my version.
Where I Am From
I am from escoba, mapo y Lestoil. I am from Villa Carolina, busy streets, and el palo de aguacate.
I am from Barbies & Nintendo behind barred windows.
I am from Abuela Carmen & Abuelo Felipe, Abuela Amarilys & Titi Nitty. I am from Mami & Papi (without Stephanie yet- though she was already in my heart).
I am from Rocky the dog who didn’t let me play with him, and Xuxa, the childhood idol.
I am from the ‘ay bendito,’ ‘bendición,’ & ‘Dios te bendiga;’ ‘que bochinche’ & ‘ten cuidado.’
I am from the summers in Florida that felt much calmer.
I am from the bacalaitos & alcapurrias.
I’m from the arroz con gandules, chuleta, bistec, & pernil.
I am from the limbel de coco, and the helado in viejo San Juan, walking with my parents – always afraid of the homeless with their sores.
I am from leche con Quik, & mas leche que café.
I am from la iglesia- la Alianza.
I’m from casa de Abulela y San Francis. I’m from the tiendita with Nutella. I am from Carolina, Ponce, & Isabela.
I am from the isla I wanted to leave, the isla I miss — the place where I first heard God.