A culture that does not allow for self-exploration
A place where belonging is not a matter of how hard you’ve tried
or how much you’ve learned but merely a fact of being
A birthright I had somehow never been afforded.
In the lottery of life, I had lost
And here I sit dramatically writing about an experience I hesitate to even call my own
For it involves delving deep into a culture that so deeply has rejected me from the moment of my birth and yet has told me it is I that has not embraced it.
It’s I that has not allowed myself to become fully part of it
It is I who is not Dominican
It is not Dominicaness that has failed in getting to be a part of me.
Where do I find this person?
This girl with the deep brown eyes?
This person with the beautiful ringlets of hazel in her deep mocha brown hair
Her high accented cheekbones
Her thin lips that hold secrets of centuries of history
Where do I find this beautiful African princess?
With all her power and her grace
Where do I find my ancestors?
In the graves of those who were forgotten first
by the people that got them there
and second by the people they passed their culture down to
Where do I find this beautiful Taino girl?
With her deeply set jaw and her strong broad shoulders
With her words that cut through eras
Where do I find this girl?
This girl who will grow to become a woman of the Earth
A woman of wisdom
Where do I find the roots of a native language that was ripped from me and stuffed behind the dislocated foreign words of those who would call themselves ‘civilized’
Where do I find her?
Who is she?
Who is this girl so deeply set inside the mold of me?
Who is this person with two displaced cultures?
marred by centuries of reinvention
Who do I look for in search of her?