My Experience with Communism for “May Day”

5/1/21

SUITCASE of ONE

Saying goodbye in 1979,

We left our motherland

And father behind.

 

“Will we ever see you alive, again,

And feel your fraternal embrace?

 

“And if not, how long before

We forget the sound of your voice,

Your high cheekbones

And fearless face?”

 

Courage and Strength

Led you by your fists

To stay and fight CONTRA

Communism and atheism,

 

All for freedom—

Freedom of family,

Faith and individualism.

 

Packing for three

With a suitcase of one,

 

My mother, brother, and I

Piled into cramped space

Liked frightened cattle,

 

Leaving the Latino race

Of our ancestors and anarchists,

Nicaraguan realists and idealists,

Behind.

 

“Will we make it to America, Mama?

And if so, how will we survive

Its political drama,

 

Which, in time,

Will recreate the hate

We fought so hard to escape?”

 

Courage and Strength

Motivated your maternality

To sustain us

 

Not by begging

But making masa

For nacatamales,

 

Wrapped in banana leaves

To sell on the streets

Of New Orleans.

 

Crying for normalcy and belonging

In a country that doesn’t

Recognize my sadness,

 

Only my immigrant status,

 

I fail to make eye contact

With the Whites—

Tomorrow’s Tycoons of Industry,

Tomorrow’s Great Gatsby socialites.

 

“Will I survive in this strange land

Of liberty and opportunity,

 

“While I stumble my words with broken Englishy,

Wishing I’d been fluent in friendship,

Wishing I’d been a better brother,

Feeling always like the minority?”

 

Courage and Strength

Now call on me.

 

Together they tuck me in

And lull me to sleep at night

With a soft coo

That soothes my memories

Of the (deceptive) destruction

A civil war had

On my proud Hispanic family,

 

A war that crafted

A cultural dissonance within me,

 

A war that made me who I am today—

A warrior poet of freedom and truth,

 

A voice for the forgotten,

A voice for today’s disgruntled youth.

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Sterling Merritt
Sterling Merritt
1 month ago

A true warrior poet!
Such a powerful message.

Donovan Bishop
Donovan Bishop
1 month ago

ThiWow! very well written. I was able to see and feel from another perspective. This brief passage conveyed immeasurable depth of emotion.

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