Sunday Stew: Who I Am

by Matt Sedillo

Who Am I
Who I am by Sladjana Endt

Plato

In a cave

Shakespeare

At the Globe

Napoleon

On the Rhine

All roads

Lead to Rome

Jefferson

In his study

Alexander

Cried

Lincoln

Freed the slaves

And history

Would not lie

Washington

On the Delaware

Take time

To learn

Your forebears

They

Are you

Though

You

Are not

You are

Nowhere

Born

Of nothing

History

Is written

To keep

Its victims

Learn

To think

English

Swarthy horde

Barbarian at the gate

Even in insult

Color

Erased

From the soil

Roots

To be razed

You

Of burn codice

You

Without legacy

Skin

Without myth

Blood

Without legend

You bastard children

Never

Seem to learn

Your lesson

The academy

Is no game

Of call

And response

It is the smoke rising

Of burning village

Europe

More construct

Than continent

Less land mass

Than concept

More west

Than civilization

More land grab

Than destination

White

Something

I was taught

When I was young

I was not

A place

Where the census

Now tells me

To check

A box

Of Hispanic

Descent

Burned down the past

Now back for the rest

Claw

All that

Indigenous

From my chest

Born stateless

Heir to every injustice

Every pen

Every blade

Every cannon

Every burnt page

Born of 1846

Or was it 1538

1519

1492

Or of nothing

Of no one

The unsung ballad

Of history’s

Forgotten son

Tell me again

Who it is

That I am not

For some

Old world hardships

Crashed

Against new shores

Newfoundland

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

Plymouth Rock

For others

Pushed off

Turtle Island

Atzlan

Do not call this brown

Skin immigrant

Child of the sun

Son of the conquest

Mestizo blood

Born of the streets

Of South Seattle

Who draws his breath

From different winds

Learns the past

In a different skin

Do not tell him

In what native tongue

His song would best

Be sung

Do not tell me

Who I am