Written by Xienna Yepez, a CSUCI Service Learning student in Fall of 2020.
Poetry is significant and can play a major role in identity. As a woman of color, identity is a big part of my life and I look for new ways every day to express that through different forms of art. Being a creative girl with the support of my family and teachers, I’ve grown to know what suits me the best and how I can convey my message. A few years ago, poetry became an outlet for me, and I hope more kids and teenagers are inspired to explore it. Poetry can help build necessary skills like vocabulary, expression, comprehension, and overall writing skills. If you appreciate writing and literature, poetry is an excellent way to educate yourself on how to strengthen your writing skills and really reach your audience. This is my favorite form of expression and I do it whenever I have the chance. Enjoy and hopefully one day you can produce something that makes you as proud as these poems have made me to be the person I am.
Your blood is clean, healthy.
My blood is dirty, salty.
Your eyes opened in a tiled, lit room.
My eyes opened in the house of mi abuela.
By 5, your feet had worn 15 pairs of shoes.
By 5, I’d stolen a bag of 15 apples.
You can paint, play the piano, in cursive.
I can spray, play hide and seek, in 2 languages.
Your ancestor’s history is told for free in elementary school.
My ancestor’s history is a course you pay for in college.
You shake the hand of the uniformed policeman.
I put my hands up to the armed policeman.
I am celebrated as commercialized holidays.
You produce and profit from those commercialized holidays.
You’ll find yourself well-represented in social media.
I’ll find myself represented in the “Spanish-only” section.
It’s not that your community is strong.
It’s that you’ve made my community weak.
Your shade promised you power and success.
My shade promised fighting for more with less.