Bio: This poem was written by Eunice Gonzalez-Sierra. She is a 4th year Chicana/o Studies Major and a Gender Studies and Labor & Workplace Studies Minor. Her interests include poetry, tennis, dancing, writing, advocacy, loving, community activism and grassroots organizing, rebelling, surviving, and thriving. Check out more of her poetry on The Word on Wednesdays!
I ask my mother if she’s hungry,
We are starving for justice
we have been craving it since before our birth
since then, my mother pulled at my umbilical cord and asked that I fight.
She sung me lullabies saying,
“M’ija tienes que luchar,”
She warned me about the men
that’ll come in and out of me
only to prove
that they were powerful enough to make me love them,
but could not love me back.
I did not take her warning seriously.
we’ve been disguised patriarchy as love and too many times womyn have become cupid’s martyr.
When my father touches my mother’s face
that she flinches.
When men give themselves the power to touch my best friend
because somehow, somewhere on her skirt said, “I am asking for it,”
and for some reason that mute idea was louder than her screams.
We are starving for justice, we have not been fed yet.
My school said, I’d be the architect of my education.
I believed them.
but they gave me a brick, instead of a pencil.
I’ve been building my future with bricks on my back,
and the struggles of my parents in the fields, within my heart.
My school said, I’d be the architect of my education,
but I still have not been given a pencil.
And instead I’ve become a construction worker,
building my future brick by brick
and my goodness, I am tired.
and even so, I am afraid that my home will crumble.
Much like mine, my mother’s fear has always been
not to have enough money to house us.
but she forgets we come from broken homes.
We are starving for justice,
and they have yet to feed us.
My mother picks the strawberries they love so much
the same people who despise “illegals,”
the same people that say this is their land
with their skewed version of history.
She warned me about the people that will pull at my skin,
hard enough to remove the brown on me.
She warned me about the hunger I would feel.
She apologized for this.
This is not her doing.
She is not to blame.
We are starving,
but we will not stop fighting
until we are fed the justice that we deserve.
my mother will receive a plate
large enough to fill the wounds she’s been left with.
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