Language by Ruth Camillia

Updated: Aug 31

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


Language by ruth camillia

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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