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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tight Rope


*this is a poem from my upcoming EP The Homeland*


Tight Rope


I must confess, that this life, is not easy, it’s full of stress,
Its like a balancing act, it don’t make sense, and that’s a fact
And there will be days where your will as human being will be tested and violated

Days where things will seem to pour on to you from all four winds
Days where it seems that the best solution is not to react
Days when no one seems to know what you need
Where family will not call and no one will offer to help and even ask how you doing
Where the only option seems the cold one and trust strolls in the shadows

On those days, I want you both to look for each other, from where ever in the world you may reside and close your eyes
Extend your arms like the condor and aguila preparing to take flight
And turn the palms of your hands toward the sky
Ready to receive the rays from Inti, the sun
Then take a deep breath like papi taught you when you feel like crying
Open your eyes and look for that imaginary line
That generations and millenniums have called our border land
And take your first step
Embrace the unsteadiness of your legs
Feel the muscles tense and fight to stand
To find balance
The innate reaction that has been handed down by generations, empires and grandmothers
That are found in the bone marrow of our families imprinted in shapes only la pachamama understands
laying dormant but ready
like the spirits of macheteros, Zapatistas and the real tupac amaru
who revolted in order to find balance, to find justice.
Mis hijas, take that second step and you will find it easier then the first
But still awkward and challenging trying to find balance without having something firm to hold on to
That has been the truth, as long as we have been in territorio norte
with nothing firme to call ours
We’ve had to rely on us, nosotros, familia, cultura, spanglish and our pens to keep our wings flying bent to embrace the tightrope that gives us dual citizenship
Found in borders, boxes, lineas, forms, fences white or multicolor that at times hate us for what we look like and despise us as fuereños en nuestra tierra.

Mis Niñas, they don’t know about being ni de aqui ni de alla, los no se quien y los no se cuantos, don’t know about Woolworth clothes, thrift stores, discount shopping, food coupons and government cheese, tools that they say are suppose to make us belong but distant us from what is deemed normal.

But you know about these things
you seen us, you been us
at playgrounds when kids don’t wanna play with you
The stares and looks, when you ride the waves of code switching and ask for things in the native flint tongue, the tool of liberation mami and I passed down
Stored in your voice, grito, hands, wings that both of you have started flapping for every step you take while walking the tight rope
And as those steps turn to strides, turn to gallops; flap those wings so they can match your heartbeat
And when they do you will see the horizon under you, while you exhale freedom in each breath
As you take flight, following el dueño de los andes and began to understand the union of heaven and earth through the serpent and eagle, you will look back and see us, familia, nosotros, cultura, flying behind you
because my ladies
the truth is that you never have to walk the tightrope alone.

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