Updated: Aug 31, 2021
since birth, spanish was my mother tongue
spanish is my mother’s tongue too
my father adopted la lengua/(the language) on the mound
he was a gringo/(yankee) ball pitcher from the northern land
our relationship to language runs deep
we code switch to say we’re a tightly woven family
sometimes, we mix up our words and thoughts
this is to say, we just have more to choose from
language is borderless, just ask all the people
we are nuanced, more complex than vocabulary
our idioms and dialects show we have much more to say
can’t everyone accept there’s more than one way?
my abuelo disapproved and my grandfather too
there was confusion about who could love who
with time, the words came with no one to blame
instead there was honor and compassion all the same
spanish makes me think colonizer, ferdinand and cortez
but it’s also in the songs played to get us out of bed
the mariachi, rancheras, and corridos ring loud
it's our cultura I’ve found that makes me most proud
Ruth Camillia is a bilingual and bi-cultural writer, artist, activist, educator, learner, akashic records practitioner, and reiki master living on Tongva and Acjachemen land in so-called Santa Ana, CA. For more of her content, follow her on Instagram (@ruth_camillia).
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