Por Mi Mamá

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Where I come from isn’t pretty.
Where I come from sinks below the distinguishing chalk line of poverty.
Holding out small hands caked with mud and sludge, begging for money,
Landing on my scrapped knees in the raising dust cloud adding to the tears in my eyes.
I could be lying, cheating, and stealing for mi familia from los pueblos, the stores, the tourists…
I could be stealing from you.

I’d like to think I was rescued from a life of terror and distress.
I was saved from living on the run down streets and saved from a life of nothing.
When I was placed as a swaddled bebé in those comforting, warm, and safe arms I was freed from that calamitous story.
I saw the sparkle in your eye as if I was your everything.
As if I was going to grow up in a place where I could have a success story.
As if I was going to grow up in a place where I could make choices… both good and bad, but that’s not the point.
The point is that I had choices.
Right there and then to mi mamá, that’s all that mattered…

As I grew, the red glowing warmth of mi corazón did too and my soul was forever thankful and gracious.
The hair on my head was satiny and lustrous, my nails were bright and pink, and my cheeks were plump.
The one thing a mother, especially a mother lost from her daughter, could ask for was that her eyes be sparkling, bright and full of life.
What if I could give that back to her?
What if I could take my life and joy and wealth, tie it up and hand it over to the woman who gave me life?
To me, mi mamá is more important than mi vida.





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