Child of the Americas
I am a child of the Americas,
A light-skinned mestiza of the Caribbean,
A child of many diaspora, born into this continent at a crossroads.
I am a U.S.Puerto Rican Jew,
A product of the getthos of New York I have never known.
An immigrant and the daughter and the granddraughter of immigrants.
I speak English with passion: it’s the tongue of my consciousness,
A flashing knife blade, my tool, my craft.
I am a Caribeña, island grown, Spanish is in my flesh,
Ripples from my tongue, lodges in my hips:
The language of garlic and mangoes,
The singing in my poetry, the flying gestures of my hands.
I am of Latinoamerica, rooted in the history of my continent:
I speak from that body.
I am not African. Africa is in me, but I cannot return.
I am not taína. Taíno is in me, but there is no way back.
I am not European. Europe lives in me, but I have no home there.
I am new. History made me. My first language was spanglish.
I was born at the crossroads And I am whole.
N.R.: Taínos were the Indian tribe indigenous to Puerto Rico
LAUTER, P. ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Miffin Company, 1988. p. 3188.
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