White Mom

Thank you, Mom

For the mayonnaise

Plastered on me

Like a filter to hide

My blood

 

Thank you, Mom

For the twang

Ingrained in me

Like a poison to quiet

My possibility

 

Thank you, Mom

For the black, red, and gold

Hidden in me

Like an assurance to

My oppressiveness

 

Thank you, Mom

For the Midwest

Surrounding me

Like a cage to keep out

My diversity

 

Thank you, Mom

For my white skin

For my English language

For my German roots

For my enclosed upbringing

 

Thank you, Mom

For making me miss the days it was easier to turn brown and remember I am a woman of color

 

Thank you, Mom

For making me kick myself in the ass repeatedly for taking French class instead of Spanish

 

Thank you, Mom

For making me feel guilty for wondering why my brother put the Mexican flag above his bed because it wasn’t like we were taught a damn thing about our less-than-privileged half

 

Thank you, Mom

For making me sick to my stomach being raised like a fully white girl because that’s all you knew how to do

 

Thank you, Mom

For making me have access to white privilege that I will always have but never quite appreciate for the sake of a hispanic surname

 

Thank you, Mom

For making me constantly forget my biracial truth

 

Reminding,

No,

Insisting to the world

“I AM LATINA”

Begging

To feel like

To be seen as

To simply be

Authentically me

 

From a Mexican grandmother

From a Puerto Rican grandfather

From a half-Mexican half-Puerto-Rican father

Who for whatever fucking reason

Was never told

Never taught

The Spanish language

Who for whatever fucking reason

Can’t handle

Won’t handle

Traditionally spicy foods

Who for whatever fucking reason

Has never

Only ever had

White wives

Who for whatever fucking reason

Wasn’t taught enough

Wasn’t taught enough

About his own culture

To pass it on to us

To pass it on to me

 

Me

A half-white half-latina

 

Disgrace

 

Thank you,

Mom

 

For being a white mom

The only mom you could possibly be

The only mom that you never questioned you could be

The only mom that saw her children’s heritage as a simple fact

The only mom that could have should have made an effort to make that fact feel real

 

The only mom

I’ll ever have

 

No thank you, Dad

For being the Latino parent

When it should have been her, instead.

 

This poem is about: 
My family

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