My Spanish Heritage

by Samuel De Lemos

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I love reading,

It brings

Unquestionable

Delight.

English is a

language I

use for learning

How to read and

How to write.

Bookstores are my

second home and

whatever is bound,

Will most likely

Become my

Good friend.

In my home, my

first words

were in “Castellano“—

as my mother would say.

Though in reality,

It sounded

More like

Plain Spanish

To me.

She would speak it

Insistently and

Castigate me with

Stinging foreign words.

Somehow, being abused

Verbally in Spanish

Hurts much more.

My mother grew up

Using that language,

And vested in

Its utility more than I.

She poignantly

Pointed out how

Some of the

Best literature was

Given in what is

Now considered

A gardener’s language—

America’s new

Peasant’s voice.

Don Quixote

Chasing windmills—

As if they were

Monsters, was first

Articulated in Español

Not English, she’d say.

My mom so

Proud of

Her heritage,

Every time we meet,

We greet each other

With, “buenos dias

And a kiss.

Today, I’m happy

I’m bilingual and

That I can read

Cervantes in it’s

Original voice.

The language

Is complex—

Literature always is.

My heritage and the

Heritage of all

Hispanics is

Sagaciously rich.

In Iberia, we were

A melting pot

Of Romans, Celts,

Teutons, Arabs,

And Jews.

All helped shape

The vernacular,

It’s context and

Spoken subtleties.

Americans will

Never understand,

That their gardeners

Speak in a language

That at one time was

Far more eloquent

Than theirs.

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