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From Culture Filled to Cultureless

Alejandra Taveras, Poetry Club

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“Your hair is too curly; too different. It’s not straight enough. It doesn’t look American.”

“Your name is too long; too complicated; too different. It doesn’t sound American.”

Your body is too curved. Too much hips, too much bust. It doesn’t feel American.”

Well isn’t it so unfortunate, 

that I don’t look American;

that I don’t sound American;

that I don’t feel American.

Forced to try to fit in.

My hair pulled and brushed until straight.

The once vibrant, bouncy curls down my back,

now lay limp, dull and straight on my shoulders.

Because it didn’t look “American.”

Changed to adjust.

My name,

filled with culture and heritage,

but yet surrounded it shame.

Too long to fit on name tags,

and too difficult to be pronounced by my four and seven year old brothers.

Altered to ‘Alexandra’ to encase the American mold, years later.

“Such a pretty name,”

but the ‘Alexandra’ reappears moments later instead of ‘Alejandra.’

Forced to adjust to fit in.

My Hispanic body too curvy for the American jeans (genes).

The final method of being able to consume my culture,

taken away from me due to the results of the un-American figure.

Forced to leave behind Abuela’s arroz con pollo.

Instead,

“Why don’t you have a Caesar salad, dear?”

From curly to straight;

‘Alejandra’ to ‘Alexandra;’

Arroz con pollo to Caesar salads.

Forced to not see, hear, or feel my culture;

instead of the culture that has been made of me.

From cultural to cultureless. 

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The student news site of Pinecrest Preparatory Charter Middle-High School
From Culture Filled to Cultureless