#FiveMinuteFriday: speak (a poem)

community Faith Latinx Marginalized Poetry Prayer Strength Waiting

//I should learn of lament and what it means to sit in prayer with God. That my panic attacks have returned is not a surprise although I wish it not so. I’m calm now and wonder if God feels what I feel in this moment.

This moment of having the breath vacuumed out of me by the clothing we’ve knit for the world to wear.

What does God think when he looks down at the hem of the world and sees it is unraveling?

What does God say when the needle to mend has been broken by humanity? Then fashions a pocket of faith and belief when all together we sing Amazing Grace.

Does he love this cloth, the delicate fibers of history threaded navy because the purple keeps washing out?

Does God change into another garment because we are the fabric pieced together in a factory where the women were paid less than a living wage? Or does he weep into it, mighty sentiment and righteous justice?

I lament with head hunkered between thin thighs, golden and bruised from birthing this world new, over and over and over. My hair, matted, it dusts the concrete floor where I have laid flat time and time again- Jesus what do you want from me?


The gravity in which we move or do not is in every sense calculated by where we stand (or sit) in times of great political upheaval.

I wrote letters of lament this week. I remembered the story my husband told me about being turned away by a small town restaurant because they didn’t serve Mexicans (even if they had served our country).

I remembered being asked if I spoke any English on the way from Kansas City, MO to home in San Antonio even though I had not spoken one word.

I remembered the guffaw at the richness of my baby girls skin because “she’s so dark.”

I remembered days I wasn’t allowed outside in the sun because I was “getting too dark” and had to spend a few weeks inside to “lighten up again.”

I remembered the first time I heard a black man speak Spanish in a Florida airport as an adult.

Then, I remembered the first time my husband and I visited New York and were mistaken by a Bengali man as being Bengali ourselves. “Oh, brother! I’m sorry” with laughter that lit up the afternoon subway tracks and brown skins hugging each other.

I remembered the Apollo Theater in Harlem and how I saw a South African for the first time – skin as iridescent as my Irish Latino sons’ and skin as rich as my baby girls’. I remembered the Muffinz band when we met up later that night in the Harlem subway and they serenaded my husband and me. Onlookers gathered ’round and our smiles and songs lit up the subway tracks yet again.

I remembered stories of my great-grandmother sneaking in family secrets of German adoption into our Aztec family as her blue eyes beamed with pride at having released a butterfly into the world that she no longer had to cocoon.

And I wonder what of this fabric when God looks at the hem of us and wonders how we unraveled.

It’s #FiveMinuteFriday. The word prompt is SPEAK. Above is five minutes of free flow writing. I welcome your comments and thoughts.

The forward slashes (//) indicate where the timer started and ended. Your turn!

Speak photo credit: Kate Motaung

Cover photo credit: Photo by Kate on Unsplash