¿En Que Idioma Hablas Tú? (What language do you speak?)

by on February 17, 2019 :: 1 comment

Span•ish
adjective

1. relating to Spain, its people, its culture, or its language

When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish, I will tell you that my language is a restless child, always hungry and impatient, always reaching for things it cannot grasp.
My language is beautiful, it is selfish, it is brave.
When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish, I will tell you what it’s like to be full of paella and too much love.
My Spanish is knowing God in more than one language
It is beautiful, all knowing, impossible.
It is who I am.
Sometimes, I forget how to speak it.
I reach for syllables that do not come, but somehow manage to be present.
They fill parts of me I did not know were empty.
My Spanish teases the President and cannot be deported.
It is asking myself whether or not I am white,
My Spanish is “Are you awake yet?”
“There’s a lot of work to do today.”
My Spanish is begging my tías to tell me about their homeland,
Sometimes too much, sometimes not enough.
My Spanish prays out loud
My Spanish is siéntate niña, y escúchame
When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish,
I will tell you that I earned a dual literacy certificate in the fifth grade.
It’s the silence that hangs in the air when I’m done talking in my AP class
Or the color of sangria fruit
My Spanish is a half-written story that weaves between two languages
It cannot be governed nor deferred.
It is an emotion and a way of thinking, a system of belief.
I am the halfway point between two countries,
Hispanic American.
My language was fed to me in tortilla Española,
It was read to me out of the Bible
It made me who I am.
My Spanish esta muy hambriento
My Spanish is bien ruidoso
My Spanish es muy callado.
Now I understand why my grandmother never learned how to speak English.
She planted her language like seeds between my lips
And I never gave it up.
When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish,
I will tell you I am descendant of an immigrant who never got a citizenship
I will tell you I am not a dream to be deferred
I will tell you I am Hispanic American, and in my grandmother’s country, we don’t build walls.
We are proud of who we are and we will not be silenced or governed or deported.
When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish,
I will say,
Yes, I am.

editors note:

Whatever we speak, speak freely! – mh clay

Comments 1

  1. pchsmith2002@yahoo.com'
    pchsmith2002

    Very descriptive. Spanish can be a baffling language for those not born with it. You have shown us many examples of how Spanish has defined your life. The images are very exact and clear. Good job!

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