New York State Youth Leadership Council

Rusty Chains

04

Apr 12

0

For National Coming Out of the Shadows Week I decided to come out through poetry. Here is the audio and below is the written version. I hope you like it. Press play on the audio and follow along [=

Rusty Chains
By: Angy

opening the squeaky door I find my mother sitting there
bent over holding albums in one hand
soft cream colored tissues in the other
trembling.
shaking.
crying.
begging for forgiveness.
I’m tired.

I’m tired of seeing my mother cry and ask for forgiveness to a crime she did not commit.
her salty heavy tears falling from her cheeks like dead bodies failing to cross the border
feelings of guilt from her immigration situation
lacking papers. no documentation
crying over opportunities I couldn’t receive
dreams I couldn’t complete.
fussing over empty social security number boxes
on college applications
what will I say to the administration?

my mother
who so fearlessly dropped everything and everyone for something new
a place she did not understand she couldn’t comprehend
parent teacher conferences, doctor’s appointments, meeting with the landlord, at the store,
I translated everything
becoming her ears, mouth
covering her eyes her lips with my 6 year old tenderness.
the bridge to two worlds.
coffee beans, salsa, vallenatos, agua ardiente, arepas, empanada, agua panela
meets
backstreet boys, sesame street, barney, concrete pavements and snow

my mother
who spent nights crying for life and memories back home
no longer in control
she thought I didn’t know
every muffled weep stabbed at my soul
she said, “Angy, I came because of you”
hatred rose in the depth of my heart and mind
wanted to cover my eyes, ears and hide
why?
yelling. screaming “why didn’t you just abort me!
grabbed me, pulled me right out of your body
saved yourself all this agony
searched for a better life without me?”
“I didn’t have a reason to live..till you came along” she counters.

my mother
always sacrificing.
giving but never receiving
scared her status will be revealed by simply breathing
don’t talk about this, don’t trust anyone.
raised in dark-colored all-consuming fear
sucking me down stealing my laugh
scared to own this, afraid to be myself
no le digas a nadie! I heard her repeat. don’t tell anybody.

Oppression and injustice weighing down on my back
bones splitting cracking weighing down on me
I’m reaching for clarity
hate, tugging at me pulling from all sides.
gotta break free
from these
rusty colored chains that
tie me down from
reaching my fullest potential.

holding on tight to them I
dig my nails and teeth into every word ever spoken
every diss
every hate crime
every time my mother was blamed
each hate word carved in my brain

dig my nails and teeth into each tear I shed
for every time I was told I wouldn’t be able to do it
for my grandmother looking down from heaven
this is for you.
for all the memories we didn’t have a chance to create
for my mother sitting somewhere at home
this is for you.
for all the fear drowning in you I will come out alone

crushing these chains and
stating I am undocumented and unafraid
I want to celebrate our victory
not sorry.
and yes
I will own my story