I am from tortillas,
from masa harina and baseball mitts.
I am from the typical suburban tract home.
They look like all the others on the block in their cookie-cutter fashion.
I am from the Bermuda grass growing in the yard, lush and rich with ant piles
the mimosa trees with their pinnately compound leaves whose long-gone limbs I remember as though they were my own.
I’m from weekend barbecues with family and fiercely protective folk, from Lucy and Abel.
I’m from the practical jokers and card players,
and from trips to Dairy Queen with Grandpa.
I’m from “mijas” and “mijos” and “sana, sana, culito de rana.”
I’m from menudo at New Year’s after the raucous party the night before.
I’m from Culver City and Dallas, caldo and chile colorado.
From the service station my Grandpa Viro owned and ran until Parkinson’s took it away,
to the dog Grandma Welly named “Who’s There” to confuse visitors.
The memories I have of my place in this family of mine reside firmly in my memory,
never to be nudged loose, never to be changed or forgotten, always to be cherished and loved.
I am from these things and people, but write my own story.