Am I Latina Enough?


Angelica Sanchez, Writer

Soy sufficiente Latina?

I’m alone in my car,
as flashbacks start clouding,
my thoughts as I feel
separated from my heritage while,
not belonging on American soil.

Getting told constantly,
that I am not Puerto Rican enough
because of my lack of Spanish fluency,
making me feel like I do not belong,
to my own community.

I saw their eyes flashed,
from curiosity
to judgement,
the second I started struggling with
pronunciation of the letter “r.”

I tried to mimic my parents words
at night in front of the mirror,
yet I felt like a fraud hiding,
behind a mask of false
i d e n t i t y.

¿Por qué tus padres no te enseñaron español?

I tried to speak,
but I was m u t e,
afraid that I brought
s h a m e
to my last name.

A big insecurity,
the fear of butchering the language,
being called a “gringa”
making me think that my i d e n t i t y
is on trial.

My hands on the steering wheel,
insecurities ruling my brain,
afraid of letting down,
my ancestors whose blood and lessons
are instilled in my body and soul.

I scream the lyrics of
Frankie Ruiz, Daddy Yankee, & Ivy Queen,
I cannot tell you what all those words mean,
but I feel their songs take over
my fragmented soul.

Yo soy sufficiente Latina

I am
p r o u d
of the Latin blood,
I hail from,
that runs through my veins.

I am
p r o u d
of the little Spanish
that I do know & will
continue to learn.

I am
p r o u d
of the rich culture that I come from
& the knowledge that my parents
gifted me of Puerto Rican heritage.

I am
p r o u d
to be 100% Boricua
with my flawed Spanish,
even if it is never enough for you.