Mi Cultura

Mi Cultura is the way the wind feels sharp after a sudden rain.

Mi Cultura is the sight of my abuelita stirring the grain she use to gather

when the selfish sun left only the taste of dirt and salt in her mouth.

Mi Cultura exists in the five dollar calling cards my mom bought from Maria

who is still filling papers for her Oscar to come to the States.  

Mi Cultura lives in my peach colored home,

where twelve of us squeeze together and don’t complain

because we rather be packed like sardines than separated.

Mi Cultura is the brownness of my skin.

The sun being my own enemy and SPF 100 being a deceiving friend.

Mi Cultura is the native tongue I can’t speak, but is spoken to me.

The utterances of my ancestors disappearing before my eyes.

Mi Cultura exists in the merengue we listen to while cooking.

The two-step everyone falls into when they hear the consistent drums.


Uno            Dos

Uno            Dos


Mi Cultura is the “Sana sana” my mom chanted when I bruised my knees.

The bitter drinks my abuela told me to swallow when I had the flu.

Mi Cultura is the reason my aunt caused a flood in my home

after she learned that Michelle got snatched by border patrol.

A flood that worsened because Ivan, Leticia, and Marcos

were dealt the same fate.

Mi Cultura is the pan dulce and coffee that sweetened our Christmas Eves.

The twelve purple grapes that blessed the new year coming.

Mi Cultura lives in each stitch my mom made to my worn out clothes.

Mi Cultura is the way my abuela pronounces my name when she is upset.

Mi Cultura is the way the sky seems purple to me sometimes

the way music makes me cry

the way pupusas and empanadas feel like family

the way speaking Spanish brings me home

Mi cultura es mía y nunca la dejaría

by Karen Garcia

Karen Garcia