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?

A Beautiful collection of poems from the El Buen Samartano Community ESL Program..Amy Herman, teacher…Thank you!




I Am from a “pueblo pequeno”, as little as a hummingbird.

From a place where the rivers flow milk.

I am from Sunday afternoons of matinee,

with my sisters and friends.

From processions, prayers

and lent during the Holyweek.

I am from an unknown “abuelo”,

full of great stories to enjoy.

From my “abuela” who said: “Visitors two joys give us,

one when they arrive, and another when they leave.

I am from summer vacations at the ranch,

sipping milk at the cows’ feet.

From spending Sunday lunch, gathered with the whole family,

enjoying bone soup, chopped meat, rice and salad,

then, a lemon pie.

I am from begonias, lilies and roses,

embellishing our garden.

From a place where we called 

all razors: Gillette. 

I am from a “pueblo pequeno”, living now in weird and beautiful Austin,

I love the city and the way of life.

From a place where wherever I go or wherever I stay, I carry,

not in a backpack, but in my heart, all my traditions and memories

because we have the conviction that probably tomorrow, we can stay 





I am from the sun, the dew,

the smell of wet earth

and the smell of coffee every morning.

From the flavor of bean and cheese arepa

and family meetings at the table.

I come from a large family, united and reunited many times.

To share, laugh and celebrate life.

From flowery fields, from the shade of large trees, 

from ripe mangoes on the ground and 

from animals playing with each other.

From the music of the vast plain, the playing of children in the streets,

and teenagers playing on the soccer field.

From the great friends of childhood and memory

of our ice creams and dances at school.

And the unforgettable memory of our game with dolls.




I´m from a traditional town. 

Where historic events are celebrated.

I love to walk around the historic buildings.

I love to eat delicious enchiladas mineras.

I love to eat exotic ice cream in the plaza.

I´m from drinking natural water, tamarindo, horchata, my favorites.

I´m from eucaliptos and mezquites trees.

I´m from a traditional meeting in my grandparents’ home.

I love when my grandmother cooks something delicious for everybody.

I´m from playing with my cousins.

I love it when the whole family decides to visit the mountains.

I´m from breathing fresh air.

I love when little insects fly around me. Sometimes it scares me.

I love the sound of the water running across the river.

I love to see a colorful flower over the grass.

Sometimes I feel afraid when it rains too hard.

I´m from eating tacos, pozole and tamales, especially when my mom cooks for the family.

I´m from the mariachi songs and bands too.

I’m from dancing because I feel happy.

I´m from the excepcional memories in my school.

I love to play during school break times.

I love to imagine new things and opportunities.

I love to help other people.

I love dreaming day by day.

I´m from beautiful memories.

Where I am From




I am from fun, 

from soups every sunday, (eaten in the company 

of 4 generations of family)

warming me up, from both 

grandmas singing in the background

filled with joy.

I am from lakes, breezes

cooling me off every morning,

from colourful houses and the 

beloved sun and where the flashes of  

Catatumbo lightning would

light up the nights.

I am from warm afternoons in 

my neighborhood, where the wheels 

of my skates rolled in the streets. I am 

from the month of November, from the 

gaitas, from those nights that lasted 

till dawn.

I am from there, from the

lakes, from the big bridge, black and blue, 

descended from a people accustomed to heat,

and I look at the sky, I wonder when I can

feel that heat again where I am from.




I am From M. Muzquiz Coah. Mexico. 

I am from big mountains, 

from the smell of tierra mojada. 

I am from walnut trees. 

I am from clear and sweet water, 

bathed with dirt. 

From blue skies and pure air, 

From playing on the street with my friends. 

I am from where we gather around the table, together on Sundays, 

eating barbacoa. 

From the smell of flour tortillas. 

I am from unconditional love from my grandparents, from a small house, modest food. 

I am from going to church and enjoying a snow cone and chips at the plaza. 

From where they call us norteños. 

I am from where there is always 

something to celebrate, 

from singing las mañanitas then 

ending with a “mordida” to the cake.

I am from where with tears I brought a full suitcase of memories.

From when  I need strength I open the suitcase and continue.

Delight in this poem…Happy spring everyone! Thank you, Rhonda…

Where I’m From

Rhonda Gaynier

I am from vinyl records, from Levi jeans and Mac & Cheese.

I am from a one square mile town

        (with three bars and two tracks,

        both clinkin’ and clankin’ in the middle of night.)

I am from the pear, the apple trees whose gifts drop,

only to rot.

I’m from bar-b-que and varicose veins,

from Bob and Rusty and Lemuel.

I’m from busy bees and social butterflies

I’m from knuckle sandwiches and thunder thighs.

I’m from Sunday school buses

with candied bribes

I’m from lost Italians and West Virginia mines,

cannoli and baked beans.

From grandpa’s blackened lungs,

and dad’s agent orange.

Few remain, but new generations come.

I’ll show them the old smileless pictures, letters penned in cursive,

and trinkets in a dusty box.

I’ll share my roots, then watch them grow.

May is here. A new poem that brings us full circle. Lovely.

I Am From

By: Samantha Littell

I am from 

the quiet countryside 


babbling brook summers and fort building winters 

I am from 

a white picket fence 


a long driveway 

I am from 

tree house high up in the old maple 


boards were put together by friendship 

I am from 

rope swings and bicycles 


my mother and father

and from 

short temper followed by apologies 


highs and lows 

I am from 

getting a new ornament every Christmas Eve 


my great aunts’ snickerdoodles and my grandmothers’ cranberry bread


my grandfather’s heart attack 

and from 

my grandmothers daily worry 

I am from the moments

in the quiet countryside

As we come to the middle of April, poetry month, what a fine way to continue on…!

My little Life

By Genesis Sanchez-Arevalo

I am from Lucinda my treasured, beautiful, American girl doll

From Takatsu ramen and Abuelita hot chocolate.

I am from loud, small, nice, comfortable.

It was one of the best.

 I’m from nature among us.

  The flowers and vegetables.

I’m from the tradition where every birthday we would put “Las Mananitas” by cepillin

From Mom And Dad And Dios

 I’m from biting my nail and being over-expressive of emotions.

From “STOP CRYING” and “Finish your vegetables”

I am from being Christian and believing in God.

I am from America, Mexico and El Salvador

I am from Tamales and Pususas

I am from a Hispanic little girl becoming a woman,

I am from good but not the best grades

I am from the name Genesis Sanchez-Arevalo.