Writing Samples

Todavía Estamos Aquí

Every day at the border is hot.

I have already learned that much. 

Yasmin came by to play in the sprinklers 

And I said yes because I wanted to

show her my new clear, rubber shoes.

Oh. And also my little sister

who had just been born that morning 

right there in the living room.

When the curandera came that’s when 

Papa took me to the store.

This one was Carmen and the next was Ana, 

even though it’s too hot to keep having babies, 

And I was annoyed because I’m Xiomara.

One time a teacher said, “Hispanics

always have the weirdest names.”

Some kids laughed and some didn’t.

I told mama and papa what the teacher said,

and I asked them, “Are we Hispanic?”

Papa said, “Never mind the gringos, mija.”

Mama said, “We were here before they called us Hispanic,

And we’ll be here after.”