Don’t Give in, Chicanita (para Missy Anzaldua)
Don’t give in mi prietita
Tighten your belt, endure.
Your lineage is ancient, your roots like those of the mesquite, firmly planted, digging underground toward that current,the soul of tierra madre- your origin Yes, mi ijita, your people were raised en los ranchos-hear in the valley near the Rio-Grande you descended from the first cowboy, the vaquero, right smack in the border in the age before the Gringo when Texas was Mexico over en los ranched los Vergeles y Jesus Maria-Davila land. Strong women reared you: my sister, your mom, my mother and i. And yes, they’ve taken our lands. Not even the cemetery is our now where they buried Don Urbano your great great grandfather. Hard times like fodder we carry with curved backs we walk. But they will never take that pride of being Mexicana-Chicana-tejana nor our Indian woman’s spirit. And when the Gringos are gone- see how they kill one another-here we’ll still be like the horned toad and the lizard relics of an earlier age survivors of the First Fire Age-el Quinto Sol. Perhaps we’ll be dying of hunger as usual but we’ll be members of a new species skin tone between black and bronze second eyelid under the first with the power to look at the sun through naked eyes. And alive mi ijita, very much alive. Yes, in a few years or centuries la Raza will rise up, tongue intact carrying the best of all the cultures. That sleeping serpent, rebellion-(r)evolution, will spring up. Like old skin will fall the slave ways of obedience, acceptance, silence. Like serpent lightning we’ll move, little woman. You’ll see.
Translated from the Spanish by the author Gloria Anzaldua
My Analysis oral history project La Familia de Martha Chavarria from South Texas settled in Guadalupe Az.
Chris –"Strong women reared you: my sister, your mom, my mother and I"
"And yes they’ve taken our lands ", however Chris in your work you are returning the land to its rightful place. "Perhaps we will by dying of hunger as usual"- my mother in her childhood and the year Ernesto left and took the air condition with him and I almost died of heat stroke and hunger. But "we’ll be members of a new species" –Nick, Chris, Mia, Lexi and Angie, Christian. "Yes, in a few years or centuries la Raza will rise up." Chris it may hurt a little because "like old skin will fall the slave way of obedience, acceptance" of the old like the girls having babies before they themselves are born, Silence, how we just don’t talk about the oppressions against us and what happens to our lives when we are raped, abused, pregnant at 15. How this hurts our sons, our unborn daughters." Like serpents lightning we’ll move"-its not adhd Chris- it is our way of moving through power, weaving and braiding the power into our own hands. "The power to look at the sun through naked eyes"- your third eye will be your new eyes my sons, my granddaughter. "They took our cemetery" in Guadalupe. My grandmother Virginia, me and Lexi "walk with curved back": carrying us from the hard times. Carrying our mothers. And alive, hijos, "very much alive"!! And free- your daughters and sons will be free!