Who knew that Mexicans could be something
Other than a gardener?
Opera singers, hairstylists, music teachers, construction workers,
And you'd think there were only Mexicans in the fields
Or on the street corners selling naranjas.
When instead there's one right next to you in the office.
My lawyer father does his best to hide his identity,
But fancy suits do not disguise his south-of-the-border brown skin
And dark features.
Instead making him stick out like a wolf in sheep's skin.
His dark skin turns a shad red
As the blonde woman asks,
"And how much does your gardening company charge?",
making my father go loca with anger over her stupid ignorance.
My beautiful, young-looking aunts laugh at my father's tale
As the rest of the cousins devour home-cooked tamales and rice.
Spics, beaners, wetbacks!, they yell joyfully.
And they think they hurt us with this crap?
My tias throw their heads back and laugh a hearty laugh
With bellies dancing and tears forming,
I watch them rejoice over something that is meant to bring pain.
And even though I sometimes feel like the misplaced gringa in the family,
I know deep down who I am.
Who just doesn't like her beans.