Regreso

A portrait hangs on the wall
Of a Taino queen
She has my abuela’s eyes
Sugar cane skin
Emitting light
That illuminates our potential
 
History wears the face of family
Looking to the past,
to create the future
I reach through centuries
to reclaim that which we have
forgotten, forgone, and been stripped of
 
Honor, power, strength, self-respect
Once petroglyphs etched on stone
Are now an apparition
Today we have
half-naked young women
Diminishing their self-worth
To chase a net worth
Provided by media empires
Of so-called “reality tv”
 
A reality lacking political activism,
female solidarity, gender equality
because despite how far we’ve come
Men still want to dictate to us what we
Should do with our bodies
 
Was this the future our ancestors desired for us?
Our grandmothers and great grandmothers
Cleaned homes, swept floors,
Laid bricks and mortar that paved
our road to freedom.
 
The freedom for us to make a difference
The freedom for us to be business owners and decision makers
The freedom to be heard, to be respected, to be treated as equals
But instead of moving forward we are regressing
Where are our women with strength like old family traditions?
Where are our leaders?
Where is this generation’s revolution?
  
For the footsteps of the past have long faded
History has pushed its way into the present
We are here now
It is our time to educate
Teach our daughters and nieces
the importance of their lives
But even more importantly,
the significance of their past.
 
For a portrait hangs on the wall
Of a Taino queen
She has my daughter’s eyes
Sugar cane skin
Emitting light
That illuminates our potential.
 
History wears the face of family
I am the past,
she is the future
I reach through centuries
to reclaim that which we have
forgotten, forgone, and been stripped of.
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