Monday, August 1, 2011

SortaRican by Elizabeth Rivera de Garcia

Elizabeth Rivera de Garcia
Elizabeth Rivera de Garcia, is a writer, poet, actress and founder of MyPeopleProductions. I have had the privilege of, not only meeting her but, hearing her perform this specific poem. Enjoy...and remember...she's SortaRican (let the words speak for themselves)!


I wonder what you think

when you look at me,

when you hear me speak,

feel my hips sway to Hector Lavoe singing Mi Gente,


Sorta-Rican is what he called me.

I wonder if even my love making was part- Rican.

How good is a tongue if it can’t roll its R’s properly.

“Ay Papi, que rico, que rico, que rico!

“I’m much better after a glass of Anejo rum, the smooth brown liquid

activates my ancestral genes,

the rhythm and beat of a bomba

playing in my veins,

women of different brown shades

dance to the bomba beat …

of my heart.

He can’t see how the


and beat

live inside of me

and hears only my proper English,

knows only my broken Spanish

and he smirks when I say to his abuelita,

“ No intiendes”

I cook his arroz con gandules like his mom

but don’t know nothin’ about a pernil

and really I don’t like to eat much meat.

.” Gringa”

“ Americana”,

the islanders lovingly called me when I pronounced vehiculo-“ vehi- culo”.

Their laughter at my mistaken pronunciation rings melodic in my memory,

time spent in el Rio with Tias, Tios and primos bonded my body to the land,

walking through my grandmother’s cemetery in Ponce through a sea of white headstones sealed my spirit to the collective soul …

of Isla del Encanto.

He knows that illuminating my light skin

is a dark soul

and in loving him

my European forefathers seek forgiveness

for nearly destroying the Tainos driving them to survive in the mountains.

When I look into his eyes

I see the remnants of these native Puerto Ricans.

All their beauty radiates from deep, dark shades of brown,

his mouth carrying healing waters from the bohiques

adorned in gold and shells,

his embrace is full of love and acceptance

of what we’ve become,

a beautiful by-product

of the most devastating circumstances.

There are Puerto Ricans,


and than there is me a


I sorta speak Spanish,

sorta look Puerto Rican,

sorta cook Spanish food,

sorta dance Rican.

And today,

with student strikes and men in prisons who believe in a

Free and


Puerto Rico!

I wonder what my place is,

what my place will be.

I am assured in my son’s golden tones,

in our shared connection to the Carribbean Sea.

There will be a day

when I make my way

to my island home.

I will stand in my garden

surrounded by yellow butterflies


“ La Borinquena”-

“La tierra de Borinquen

donde he nacido yo,

es un jardin florido

de magico primor…

es borinquen la hija,

la hija del mar y el sol,

del mar y el sol,

del mar y el sol…”

I am the daughter of the Sea and the Sun.

©2011 Elizabeth Rivera de Garcia

No comments:

Post a Comment