Far Away From Home

December 29, 2017


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Tina Bohling grew up challenged by both whites and Latinos about her identity. Her household identified as Chicano but she wasn’t raised knowing Spanish. She explores that tension in the poem she’s sharing with us today called Far Away From Home and tell us about its creation.

Far Away From Home

On the road, away from my Midwest home

Sitting in a cafe on the US east coast

I order my tea, buy a book and sit to write a poem


Spanish hits me

First as a chirping of pretty tunes

And I LOVE it

I close my eyes for a second


Smells like busy kitchens, crowded streets and warm smiles

But this is different

Because we are on a college campus

This is Castilian Spanish

I laugh at my thought of “chirp chirp”

I type, continue on my poem

En ingles

Soon my subconscious lays out a welcome mat

As if waiting for this moment

I know if I silently, patiently waited, it would come to me

I chuckle at their teasing

Talking of school professors

Wishing I could join them

But knowing I wouldn’t

I am not fluent

They fly higher than I do

Their words transform into a context I can store in my stomach

Nourishing the corners left unswept

Undiscovered, I guard them there

Won’t claim them

Because they aren’t mine

I am always reminded of that

This isn’t mine

They are the bread crumbs to part of my heritage

One I was blended into

That welcomes my brown hair and eyes

My Latina hips

And hard to place facial features

Until I speak

I don’t speak Spanish

I hardly move nor look up

Afraid to disturb this moment

Afraid it might fly away

I want to enjoy it in a natural environment

Not caged in a novela or recorded in song

I enjoy the natural rhythm

It plays on my olive colored skin

La musica enters my body

Or my body entre la musica

No se. Just is.

I want to capture this moment

I write quickly and quietly

Tap tap tap

They leave….

A void enters the room

I am way too familiar with this void

The air falls heavy on my shoulders

I stop riding their currents

The thought crosses my mind to toss the bread crumbs

The same ones shared with me

Hoping to bring it back

But some things cannot be captured to be enjoyed

Only missed


2018-02-10T23:06:30-06:00Tags: , |

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