Dear Mami,

I have hidden things from you that you simply do not need to know.

Why would I want to break my mother’s heart?

I could feel the fear in your voice when I told you I was at my first protest

But you couldn’t tell me not to do it.

You didn’t have the heart for it.

I felt the stress overwhelm you… A shift of tone was all I needed.

Thank you for carrying me an entire nine months and loving me, unconditionally, the other nineteen years and three months.

I promise I’m not throwing my life away.

I’m figuring it out as I go along.

We have learned so much from each other in our time apart.

I will never forget when we would garden, nap, cook, watch novelas, sit and eat paletas.

Everything reminds me of you.

I think “What would my mom do?”

“She would like this.”

My rule to live by has been: If I am disappointed to tell you, that probably means I shouldn’t do it. I know myself better than anyone. I have to pave my own path, but your opinion matters to me because I respect you.

You said you would always be proud of me.

Thank you for believing in me.

I wish you would call or text sometimes too. It takes two to tango.

But I understand how you work… You’re my madre, but you have your own life. I am not offended by it.

You have told me before you don’t want to bother me, but how could you ever bother me?

Your motherly love is everything to me.

When I introduced my second poem this past Wednesday, I explained to the audience that I’ve been missing my mom and yearning for my hometown.

I hope to see many more of your birthdays.

I will see you soon.

I will always remain your little girl.

Catch you later, alligator.




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