My Spanish

Inspired by Alison Villasana’s poetry workshop and Melissa Lozada-Olivo spoken word piece, “My Spanish” here is my writing around a my languages. Very drafty, get down draft, but I wrote it for ME.

My Spanish

My Spanish has never been my Spanish

It is my mother’s story of shame, ridicule and pain

An unknown ancestor waiting to be discovered, remembered.


My Spanish brings up many questions

Assumptions of my orgullo

Raised eyebrows about el sonido

Concerned looks of pity


My Spanish, stumbles over itself as if trying to find itself in a dark room

At times

it finds the light

The right palabras

The right sonidos

Other times, it sneaks back under the covers to hide from the dark and avoid the light.


My Spanish is my Nana Josie’s prayers

The blessings of her sopa de fideo y tocino bien cocido

Whispering prayers on my ojos bonitos and my forehead

Reminding me of times that must never be forgotten.