WE COME FROM RESILIENCE
We come from resilience.
Our ancestors endured,
treated as strangers in their own land.
Desperation and courage brought us here.
Hard work was not enough to put food on the table.
With holes in our shoes and a broken heart,
we departed the beloved land that leaves us no choice.
Difficult travels, seeking a chance
so their children could have a better life.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for your selfless act;
seeking a dream is not a crime.
Nevertheless, some do not understand.
How could they
when willful ignorance is embedded in the heart?
They slate the legality of our existence.
Yet we find strength in our parents’ resistance.
You come home in uniform.
Tired and thoughtful
But when you see me, your face turns delightful.
Your hug is warm and smells of street food.
It comforts me, makes me hungry.
You are no criminal, Daddy;
you are an exceptional father who risked it all for his daughter.
Learned to live in the shadows —
Will this be our last day together?
And despite the isolation,
we are the lucky ones —
we weren’t separated.
A father and his baby girl drown in Rio Grande,
her tiny arms wrapped around her father’s neck.
They could not survive the current of dehumanization
and paid with their lives for the American Dream.
Shaming and blaming
But did they cross legally?
We continue to endure trauma,
burying the pain within us.
History repeats itself.
Cruelty and inhumanity, all for political gain.
Wipe those tears off your face —
we must continue on.
Their sacrifice cannot be in vain.
Luz Velez is an undergraduate student at Cal State Los Angeles in the Liberal Studies department.
Follow Luz on Twitter: @mslight