Parents  By Diana Medina – Poetry Slam

Diana Medina participated and won 2nd place with her poem “Parents” in the first virtual Alegría Poetry Slam on July 18, 2020. Thank you to all the wonderful poets who participated. 



I see both of you and I see myself 

I see how your wisdom 

is reflected in me like a mirror 

When you look at me you see 

your best and worst qualities 

staring back at you in this 

stubborn, rebellious,

loud mouth, determined  

black sheep of a daughter 

I am overflowing with the essence 

of Natalia and Jose 

Her gift with words 

His determined work ethic 

Her unshakeable conviction 

His creative resourcefulness

Her attitude and sass  

His humor and wit 

All of it is also mine

All of it is also me  

There is nothing about me 

that you haven’t had a hand in creating 

I hear how your words tell me: 

Stop, cálmate, wait a minute, habla con Dios, take it easy mija 

But I also how see how your eyes tell me: 

Échale ganas, feel things, vuela mija, god is guiding you

and I listen more to your eyes than I do to your words

You see my gut has always told me your dirty little secret  

That your eyes are where your hopes and dreams for me live 

And your words are where your fears and worries for me live 

Your words yell at me 

Because you worry that you’ve created a monster 

but your eyes… 

your eyes are beaming at me 

Because they are certain that you’ve created a warrior

We go through the motions of these disagreements as a formality 

keeping the dance for parents and child alive 

And in that dance I can see it 

I can see your eyes betray your words 

You can’t hide it from me 

You are me and I am you 

I know what you really want 

because I know what I really want 

You want to stop time for both our sakes 

You want to keep me a baby just a little longer

You want me to stay where you can see me and keep me safe 

But you also want more 

more than what you thought was possible for you 

more than what your parents and grandparents could have imagined  

And we have the same heart 

so I know what I have to do 

when your words cry out in fear 

and your eyes glimmer with hope 

Our hearts are just not a place capable of storing lies. Only these truths can exist there: 

1 – That you deferred your childhood so you made sure I had one 

2 – You knew the world would not be kind so you raised me with faith and courage and fear and worry to keep me vigilant 

3- we are monsters and every monster has to have a little warrior in them to be scary 

4- we are warriors and every warrior has to have a little monster in them to be strong 

Thanks to you the world is not ready for a woman as strong as me. 

When I was born you cut the wings of your backs and gave them to me not knowing where in the world I would fly off to or when I would leave

You armed me for a journey into the unknown with an endless supply of bendiciones and burritos 

You agreed to stay exactly where you are so I can always find you when I’ve lost my way knowing all the while that my words will forget to say thank you but my eyes will always be grateful 

I’m going to fly despite all of our fears because my words promised your eyes I would 

You crossed a border to give me this life and every day I ask myself what border do I need to cross to pay you back for that sacrifice? 

Your eyes will see our dreams realized because where I fly, you fly That is what these wings are for


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