I Am Afraid

Dear Ethnicity,


You define me as Hispanic,

but the wary glances and quick whispers at family gatherings tell my truth:

I am someone only pretending to belong.


The native language my parents both share--to me, is like the moon:

Beautiful in both its structure and simplicity,

but something I will never be able to grasp.


Fear of ridicule,

fear of failure,

and the fear of only ever half-belonging,

it all prevents me from embracing my culture. 


I see the disappointment in my parents' eyes at the dinner table,

and I hear it over the phone in my Abuelo's tone.


Understanding the Hispanic tongue,

having an unhealthy obsession with rice and beans,

sharing the same cultural background,

none of it is enough to truly belong.


Because I am a Hispanic,

too afraid to speak my own language.



A confused-on-what-to-do-next teenager


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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