The Way Miracle Grows

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 02:29 -- nzamora


United States

When I was 3 years old

You didn’t tell me to stop running my fingers along the brick fences.

Each just a graze along the borders of fancy houses, houses bigger than ours,

They had More stories than the ones you told me

As you ran off to work, minutes passing as I pleaded to hear you read The Name Jar once more,  the book with the girl who wanted to change her name constantly for being too foreign, reminding me of you,

So you couldn’t say no

Because you wanted to give me everything.


When I was 7 years old

You didn’t tell me what surprises were.

My best friend, Ghia, handed me the newly uncovered dollhouse,

Her Eyes reflecting the gleam of their glinting Christmas lights put up by those who didn’t have to worry about anything other than “happy holidays”

we weren’t allowed to celebrate because Jehovah wanted to grant us a slice of heaven, a bit of your culture shielding me from the one that surrounded us


When I was 14 years old

You didn’t tell me people judge you more for the color of your skin rather than the ability to translate for your parents because they really don’t get what it means when that customer, brazen with bias, yelled at you because the sweater he wanted wasn’t delicately placed in his hands by you, the simple Salvadoran worker who spent 15 years at Target folding other people’s sweaters.

Meanwhile my 8th grade science teacher and his jaw a little too wide for comfort was shocked that a Hispanic was at the top of his class

And when he told you, you smiled

Because you didn’t know what it meant when I was being talked down to

Because you wanted me to believe that this country was the same one that granted you the golden ticket won 20 years ago.


When I was 16 years old

You told me your fears as you realized you couldn’t protect me anymore

As the White House you once trusted became your biggest disillusion.

Papi will be there, you sighed as you came home from another day at pinning for a better tomorrow

But then you cried

And I cried with you

Because mami you know I shed every tear you do.


We teared up

Not only because we feared the future, but because we loved the past.

The time when your accent was only laughed at by your daughters as fudge ice cream became f*ck ice cream

And people couldn’t understand

But how could they? When they didn’t know how to pronounce your name

“Hi, I am Milly.”

“You can just call me Milly.”

“¡Hola, yo soy Milagro!”

You didn’t tell me what that meant

But I know

Because I know you.

This poem is about: 
My family


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