Here’s what I know…

Sometimes I’m mad at you because

We don’t know who we are

Or where we come from

And who’s fault is that

I was five years old when

La Raza

Shook the city, 

voices rose up


for justice, for equality

La Raza

Only a few miles away

And yet I never knew


You wanted us to be proud

Of who we were/are

But we knew nothing of those people

We didn’t know

East L.A. to the Valley

Might as well have been different planets.

There. Here.

Here. There.

I had a voice I could have used

I wasted and lost.

So yes, sometimes I’m mad at you

I feel ignorant


Without identity

I didn’t recognize mi familia,

ALL the beautiful textures and colors.

I had a voice before I became afraid to use it.

I didn’t see those people are me.

Here I am fifty years 

after La Raza, 

Finding my voice

In the borderlands

La frontera

Once again the people

our people

Rise up 

speak out

demand justice

Against the inhumanity

The degradation

Another holocaust

Seen by those who see

And I

I will always live 

On a wall

Of two worlds

Here, there

Me, them

I carry two worlds in my heart

Mi corazón

And the only way for me 

To know my story

Is to know their story

You’ve been gone a long time now

Crossed a different border

One I too will cross 

For now

I’ll sit on this wall 

In the borderland

Of my own life

A witness

Breathe in the rust earth

The earth of my ancestors

My people

Our people

I listen for their whispers in the wind

Their prayers in the rumbling thunder

Imaginary boundaries

Unless you listen with your heart


~JK ©2020