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    Spring backward. #photoaday #flowerstagram #firstdayofspring #spring #lastofwinter ❄️❤️ So yesterday, I ran a poetry workshop at a middle school and hearing the words from these youth, I feel a lot better about the world. One boy wrote a poem & was very shy about reading it. I offered to read it for him. To my surprise, he wrote about people wanting freedom and not being “illegal.” I hope he finds the courage some day to read the poem because these days, hate voices itself louder than love. Our kids deserve better role models. I didn’t grow up thinking about my immigration status, but I think many children have to now. 💔I’m at a very low point in my hope bank. I’m taking notes on how to say goodbye to a country. I think one way is love and one way is poetry.
#loveislouder #happyworldpoetryday This Sunday I made it to church at a Unitarian Universalist congregation. I arrived as a panelist for an immigration and human rights discussion. My audience was majority White. I started with a poem and then my college journey narrative. It is a heavy feeling to be a person who potentially faces deportation or undocumented status and to stand in front of an audience that though sympathetic, cannot imagine what your world is like. They listened to me and the other panelists very actively. One of the panelists, Klara Bilgin, showed us this poster-size cover of Time magazine’s March issue with her own addition “Why America?” At the end I was surprised that most people had comments rather than questions. When we say immigration is a controversial issue or a “hot topic,” it’s true. I got to see it today by people commenting on their experience traveling abroad without borders or their observations of how much labor is expected of undocumented immigrants. Many of them were proposing solutions. I wish Congress were as productive as these people were in their 15 or so minutes to comment and ask questions. #rageatCongress #votesmart #speakup Little sister poem. Be woke.❤️ #ajamonet #poem
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1,000 miles: step 42

I’ve been changing my mind.

A lot.

These days.

I’ve always thought of myself as stubborn. That what I say I will do is the final word. It’s not.


Lately, I’ve been wondering what I want to do with my college education. More specifically, what am I getting out of it? Is spending my mom’s custodian salary worth chasing my dreams? What are those dreams again?

On my room hangs a picture of a fireworks celebration at the University of Virginia. I have it labeled “GOAL.” I’ve had the picture since my 9th grade year of high school. But high school was centuries ago. This year, I no longer feel tenderness towards UVA.

I’m not as comfortable with making a living as a teacher. Or a writer. Or a professor who writes. Whatever the case, I won’t be making money.  This never vexed me before.

Today, one of my teachers rephrased my money question for me: can I manage happiness with “lack of money”?

I want to tell myself, that if anyone can make it work, that would be me. Because I’m already there. I’ve been here since the day I was born to a 15-going-on 16 year old mother. And if God granted mothers, I would choose her all over again in a heartbeat. I can’t imagine it any other way: rich or poor, she’s mine.

When there are days like this (and there are many), it all goes back to Mami. Being a first generation student, a college education is dear to me. Education is dear to me. In my mother’s struggles to pay the rent, I have reason enough to be patient, to endure these many years of college.

If only my heart weren’t so fickle.

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