National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!
Today, Day 1, I’d like to introduce myself. Me is a poem I wrote a few years ago, while I was lecturing on Postcolonial Literature to Undergraduate students of English. We all wrote poems introducing ourselves from a migrant’s perspective, this was mine.
Fifty years ago on Seven Sisters road,
On an island miles and years away
From their wrecked and hungry homes,
In a spotless sullen ward,
Within the ancient Roman city of London,
A confused Spanish migrant,
Gave birth to the sole survivor of three.
Who decided the chosen one would be
She gave me a name, her name, a Roman name.
He gave me a surname, his surname, a Spanish surname.
Now I’m richer, I have two names and two surnames
As well as passwords and user names, and logins,
And ID cards with photos, and credit cards with microchips.
I’m the fusion of both of them, of all of them.
Their old country and our new world.
Two minds, two tongues, two hearts, but
I was baptized and civilized in churches and schools,
By Roman Catholic priests and nuns.
They taught me what to learn, and I did,
They taught me what to believe, and I did that too.
God blessed me with three brains;
One is clever and has a PhD,
Another is hard-working: teaching, cleaning and cooking,
But the best is loving and giving her love
To her three children, four grandchildren,
And their other unborn children.
And who are you?