May 7, 2004

La Esquina

arte de la comunidad

Bound By Tradition

She was raised with boundaries
Knowing her place as a young woman
being taught since the reproductive cycle began
Please him Cook for him Love him
when he is faithful and when he is not.
Bare his six children and care for them as if they
fulfilled your life’s purpose
Her thoughts irrelevant to familial decisions and always
maintain the manors of a lady
At 18 her dads favorite question was
When will you provide children
as if he forgot new traditions began the
day her abuelos crossed the border
Playing house was a familiar story at too young of an age
Never realizing the consequence
for acting on thoughts of love
filled with insufficient knowledge on relations
and acceptable behaviors
Roaring battles was not the Norm
Punctured walls did not exist in every home
The pressure lead to time spent with
negligent lovers
lovers with no quarrels in creating their own
punctured hallways, with no quarrels
In creating their own sacred scars
Too naive to accept her own faults and theirs
in the mixed realities of those many tainted situations
Too inexperienced to know when goodbye
meant goodbye
No one understood when the cross from dependent
to independence came
but as it did the transformation became isolation
And the problems became hers
not their ill mannered behavior
How could she let them leave
as if she wasn’t the initiator
father lost sleep over his overbearing daughter
expecting to much from love
expecting love expecting respect
he still losses sleep today lost in traditions
Her time now spent on redefining definitions
rebuilding bridges recreating familial ties
the process full of requested information
to validate current situations of solitude
as if being alone was not enough
Yet she remains convinced the tradition stopped here
stopped with her acceptance of a lighter path of life
One spent on fulfilling her dreams
not those of men or ancient beliefs

Copyright 2003 byMariajulia Arisiaga Urías

Mariajulia Arisiaga Urías is a California native currently living in San Diego. However, her roots go back to Bakersfield and follow the grapevines north, through the Central Valley. She is an artist and activist and holds the Vice-president position of the Red CalacArts Collective. As well as having coordinated youth poetry workshops at King/Chavez Academy of Excellence, she is also the self-published poeta of the chapbook, Con Fuerza: citsilatipacitna. Her poetry is dedicated to exposing the voices of those who have never been heard. She says Art and Family, blood related and struggle related, are the only things that keep her sane. She believes the only way to create social change is by acknowledging that change starts from within each individual and grows from there. This poem has been published with permission from the poeta.

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