Two stunning, honest, beautiful poems from Karen Green’s ESL group in Austin Texas. Thank you poets.

By Ricardo Rodriguez

Where I am From

From Tampico, Mexico, living in Austin, Texas

De dónde soy?

Soy de dónde el águila devoró a la serpiente

De dónde los hombres usan sombrero y grandes bigotes,

Estoy hecho de maíz y de pirámides Mayas, de plumas de aves de muchos colores.

También soy del lugar donde se Reza mucho, de la ciudad de perros de agua, dónde el río y el mar se besan, dónde Don Porfirio encontró el amor.

Estoy hecho por médicos y cirugías, de pocos meses en el horno, de tamaño poco mayor a la mano de mi madre.

Soy de diabluras y juegos de Niño, de bromas pesadas y corazón noble,

Soy de las largas filas en las tortillerías y de frijoles con queso fresco y de cocodrilos como mis vecinos

Soy de la religión, de los largos sermones 5 veces a la semana y de dónde Disney es el diablo.

Soy de una familia de 4 y un pilón, del trabajo duro y de un día de cine.

Soy de la soledad del cuarto y de noches de frío, de pócimas para dejar de respirar y de grandes lágrimas;

Soy de dónde vienen los amigos invisibles, y de dónde las almohadas te escuchan, soy de dónde el fracaso es más que los logros.

También  Soy de ese lugar dónde nacen las ganas de volar, de vivir, de salir, de experimentar, de crear, de volver a nacer.

Soy de la esperanza y ansias de futuro, de mejorar, de aprender,

Soy del otro mundo, de la libertad, de ser yo, y gritar si es necesario.

Soy de mi y para mi, soy yo y soy feliz.

I’m from where the eagle devoured the serpent.

Where men wear wide-brimmed hats and have big mustaches.

I’m from maize and Mayan pyramids, from feathers from multi-colored birds.

I’m also from a place where they pray a lot, the city of water dogs known as otters, where the river kisses the sea, where Don Porfirio found love.

I am made from doctors and surgeons, only a few months in the oven, born the size a little bigger than my mother’s hand.

I am from horse play and child’s play, from harsh jokes and noble hearts.

I’m from long lines at the tortilla shop and from beans with farmer’s cheese and from neighborly crocodiles

I am from religion, but the martyrdom kind; from long sermons five times a week and from where Disney is the devil.

I am from a family of 4 and a beautiful surprise; from hard work and a movie days

I am from solitude in my room and cold nights, from potions to stop breathing and from giant tears.

I am from a place where my imaginary friends live, from where your pillows listen to you, from a place where you are never good enough.

The place where I was born, inspired me to fly, to live, to leave, to experience, to create, and the desire to be reborn

I’m from hope and anxiety about the future, and from being better and wanting to learn

I’m from another world, from freedom, from being me and to scream if it’s necessary.

I’m from me, for me, I’m me and I’m happy.

Where I Am From

Saúl E. Beschorner

From Venezuela, now living in Austin, Texas

Where I came from 

I can still hear the ocean 

divided for your greatness

this crazy jungle

of pavement and green

can you feel it?

it’s more than blood

it’s history

running through my veins

as a reminder

of where I came from

I can still hear the laughter
the gossip

the Margarita with the arome of Chanel

can they hear me?

My heart is beating 

roots are not ready

the tree is shaking 

and the guacamayas are flying away

now this tree has broken in two

like a horcrux

but it’s not the end 

there’s something else

I’m calling you

I’m missing you

can you hear it?

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