To take in my looks and my roots.
My bent nose and thin brows.
My frizzy hair and small elf ears.
My roots have trees back in Mexico I haven’t
studied enough— my European roots invaded
the soil in my brain long ago and kept on growing.
I don’t speak Spanish. I took Italian in high school.
I have an unapologetic love for Taco Bell. Only recently
can I recall the names of my great grandparents
from my mom’s side, the Mexican ones.
I never met them, but if they could see me now,
would they be disappointed? Have I
lost my way, planted so close
to their roots yet not knowing
an ounce of my culture? Am I allowed
to call it my culture if I was not
raised with it? On legal documents,
I can’t pick the “white” ethnicity option
because they explicitly put
“non-hispanic” in parentheses.
So people like me don’t exist?
I’m just another white-washed girl
living in America with years
of history behind me, so I have to
pick the “mixed” option instead.
I share my nana’s and my mother’s eyebrows.
They say mine are thicker than theirs, but still
thinner than average. I share their shortness
and their frizz and their love of art and fast food.
At the very least, I look like them.
Veronica Fahn (she/her) is from Los Angeles, CA and is a third year undergraduate Creative Writing major at the University of California, Riverside. She was published in her middle school’s literary anthology and wants to get her voice heard again. She is a current poetry editor for Mosaic, UCR’s Undergraduate Art & Literary Journal, and is half-Mexican half-White.