The reading that stood out to me the most was “La Guera” by Cherrie Moraga, and so I did a poem in “response” to her work.
My mother is a fair-skinned, first generation, Boricua to attend college;
Little did she know that the struggle would never cease, nor give her a break;
Williamsburg’s Humboldt Street’s public school education could not prepare her for a college career;
Her mother was a factory worker making cents a day, to make sense of it all;
For her babies future in a world of whiteness is rightness;
Papa Rivera working low-wage jobs just to provide warm food in his babies bellies;
My mother is a light skin, first generation, Boricua college graduate;
Bachelor’s from Hunter, Master’s from Seton Hall;
Let me not forget New York’s Finest;
To me she’s mom, but to others she’s Officer Rivera-Diaz;
Handed nothing but her fair-skin, that in turn did not a thing for her;
A thick, fair-skin that gave her very little privilege, but a lot of confusion;
A fair-skin that could never strip the Boricua or kinky thick hair from her or her degrees.