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De Mi Mama

By: Adrianna Puente


I come from hard earth and clay walls.

I come from early Sunday mornings-

the smell of myrrh and frankincense clouding my eyes. 

I come from the mango trees that did not belong to me, 

But still scaled up high to escape a life that was not mine. 

I come from the rigid hand of my Tia, 

her belt a reminder that I was not hers to claim. 

I come from late nights I spent with one ear pressed onto the radio,

 as I wondered when you would return.

I come from plates filled with pupusas y tamales de elote;

I come from plates with only tree leaves con sal.


I come from the sound of gunshots cruel and bloody that grew closer to my bed each night.

I come from the dry gravel and the rocky terrain stained with the hard stare of El Coyote.

I come from the sweat of my temple that got me by after the crossing.

I come from the lies of the men who hurt me; the embrace of the women who helped me.

I come from the love of Lord, and his ever-present message that my life was still worth living.


I come from learning to stand after the fall.

I come from everything, and nothing at all.