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  • Writer's pictureSonia Pings Rodriguez

Identity

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

What will I say to my daughter

Who will feel even more of a fraud than me?

Because daddy is white and mamá might as well be.


I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know my culture.

I’m just a pretender.


Skin like the moon so I never could really call myself brown.

Spanish I learned mostly in school instead of from life.

Trips to my grandfather’s country where I never visited his home,

Just hotels on white sand shores.

Private school education and how I avoided my people

Because for sure they would see that I was just faking.

A good passing accent that’s probably just overcompensation.

The knowledge that I know I lack

Always just out of reach.


How can my daughter feel connected to a motherland

That her mother doesn’t know?

It’s so easy to fall into the same pattern of assimilation

My family built out of necessity

And it’s so hard to shake the feeling that I need it too.


Proudly Latina but without the look or language or understanding?

I am a shell of a person.

There’s no substance to me.

My words are hollow.

But I have to learn or at least learn to hide it,

Because my daughter does not deserve my damage.

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