ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP / ISSUE 5: Poets In Unity - Responses to the Election of Donald Trump / LOS ANGELES POETS / POETRY

“What Will We Do” by Irene Monica Sanchez

What will they do when I call my son’s name?

Three days after the election

Coffee shop

They stare
I feel it enough to look up
see eyes roll at a little four year old
brown boy

Playing and laughing
Who wants the treat his mama promised him
For getting a sticker at school
for reading a book

And he sits loudly in laughter and
I don’t shush him this time because
even if he was silent it would still be too much for them

He’s still there

And so am I

And we aren’t going anywhere

A reminder our
presence has always been too much for them

And where we stand now
Our ancestors stand behind us ready
For what will happen next

I will not back down
And neither will they

What will they do when I call my son’s name?

I wanted him to be proud of who he is and where he came from
Where we came from

The day of the election his father texted me asking
What will we do to protect him

Will I have to move?

What will happen to him at school?
I try to reassure him
I’ll do everything and anything to protect our son

But I go home to read about five year olds on a friends child’s playground lining up their backpacks saying they did Trumps job
and built a wall

What will they do when I call my son’s name

I remember how
My grandparents came to this country post Mexican Revolution

To be greeted with

English only

Mexican Schools
Assimilationist national agendas

Zoot Suit Riots

They would beat us up for being who we are

My parents as kids saw
kids in schools getting hit for speaking Spanish

In East Los Angeles

Walkouts and

Chicano Moratorium

Ruben Salazar murdered

They just wanted education
And basic human rights for the world to know
Being brown is not a crime

but the U.S. has been legislating policy against Mexicans since before 1848

And claimed it was their God given right to land that was never theirs

Manifest Destiny is rooted in white supremacy and so is this system and the people who uphold it

What will they do when I call my son’s name?

I remember when I walked out

Middle school

Prop 187

Reaffirming who I am

I always was

You have to know your history to understand the current situation
so we stood for Immigrant Rights
and against HR 4437 and SB 1070
and anything else they threw at us

the strength of the fight to defend my community runs like legacies do through my veins
but I never knew the depth of my strength
until I became a mama

What will they do when I call my son’s name?

I wanted him to be proud of who he is that’s why I named him Quetzal and no there’s no nickname and no you can’t call him Q

I wanted him to be proud of who he is and more importantly where his ancestors came from.

What will they do when I call my sons name

I won’t forget

They will do what they have always done

And I will too

I will not back down

Quetzal

Precious Quetzal

Your name means freedom and that we survived and that no matter what we will continue to

 


14713540_10102530249651278_1973503321913679328_nIrene Monica Sanchez is a Xicana, Single Mama, Artist, Writer, and Ph.D. Her writings have been published in Telesur and she will be featured in two upcoming anthologies at the end of 2016, the first-“Basta! 100+ Latinas Against Gender Violence” from the University of Nevada-Reno Press and “Single Mothers Speak on Patriarchy” from The Girl God.

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