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Of Struggle and Reflection

Poetry

Dr. Darder has been an established poet for many years. Below is a small sample of her work.

Rican-Woman-Madness is Just Another
    Word for Love

The Great Mother Wails

Café Contemplation

La Hembra

I Hope She Feels the Love

Of Struggle and Reflection

You Say You’ve Got a Program?

Al Amanecer

The Unexpected Reappearance of Don Quixote

Mami Recuerdas

Of Struggle and Reflection

A wave of confusion hits
as I look to sort out
the truth of my existence,
the essence of my life,
a bilingual, bicultural woman
is what I am, so I am told,
and in retrospect I see
the kaleidoscopic rearrangements
from this to that,
from here to there,
trying to find out
just who the hell I am.

I am a small child,
proud of Boricua roots,
soy Puertorriqueña,
naci en las isla,
I would enthusiastically proclaim
to the response of white faces.

I am a school child,
trying to hard to learn,
to learn that English well,
for quickly I saw
that the ticket for travel
in this strange world
was the white way
of my teachers
who would smile
when I was a good girl.

I am an adolescent,
in search of identity, value, worth,
with no consciousness or guidance
of the changes bombarding my mind,
the last person I want to be like is Mami
with her thick accent
and loud conversation,
the last thing I want
is to live the barrio,

Push, push, push,
for the assimilated look,
dye my hair,
shave my legs,
shield the sun,
put down all the old fashion stuff
and backward ways of Jibaros,
break away from home,
search for a white name,
get high with a white man.

I am confrontation,
why do you put that shit on your hair,
who do you think you are anyway,
can’t you speak Spanish,
nooooooooooooooo,
gee, you’re sure not like the rest,
oh, thank you,
hide the accent,
sorry, you people don’t do well
in professional programs,
what??????????
Folks jam me up and
realization comes so slow on the outside
with ulcers on the inside,
why do i think white people
are better, smarter, more hip,
why did i leave my family, the barrio,
I start to fight myself.

I am validation,
and I begin to feel
for me and al brown faces
and the sounds of my music
resurrect like old time friends,
just waiting for me to know
that I don’t have to
look white, talk white,
or smell white to be.

Hallelujah!
I begin to find la Jibarita
who stood up with pride
and told the world
I am Puerto Rican,
born on the island,
and I am proud.
I am rebuilding,
as i go to regain
the lost treasures of
my ancestors and childhood,
give them to my children,
and leave behind the bullshit
of melting pots and color blinds,
to lift my head and say
I am not the same as you white man,
for this is my history,
these are my roots,
here is my heart,
and none of them had
a god damn thing to do
with your fucking Mayflower.