|Photo by Alsy Acevedo/CRS|
SUNDAY MORNING by Maya Reyes
the same as every my mother asks me to go to church with her and forgetting my baptism and communion and catholic guilt I quickly decline and she slowly wilts into disappointment yes, my mother is a flower who has bloomed, given up, been devoured by guerrilla warfare and coup d'etats by a cold, cold world who seemed to have forgot that she was only blooming and as reagan and romney promised champagne to trickle down like rain on a famined nation they funded slaughter and rape under the tin roofs of my mother's town blood stained cotton gowns of girls she went to school with and so she emigrated to the country that enabled her suffering freedom pending, freedom assumed, freedom buffering and she joined the sea of thankless 9-5 except my mother starts her day at 4 in the morning rising unseen, as history is forming all she has been through into nothing so getting up early for church on sundays isn't much to her but mom i don't know whether i'm amazed or disappointed that you can still believe in anything because america, someone else's beautiful, funded your destruction so where was God when the soldiers raped the girls in El Salvador and where was God when they shot Salvador Allende and where was God when we funded apartheid and where is God when we commit cultural genocide and where is God when we torture innocent people for information that will never matter my views are scattered i want to believe that there is something beyond this but there is no circle of hell deep enough for a racist or a president whose drones kill children or companies who make money off of illegal settlements or people who have all of the evidence but choose to keep quiet we can't expect a riot to just happen we need to mobilize ourselves before they dissolve us into numb, proud citizens and praying won't stop our taxes from deepening the wounds of victims it’s funny how those who have seen want to be blind so mom, it's going to have to be a no again i can't go to church with you because if there's anything i believe in it's the power of a determined people not of any divine priest under a steeple
Poem performed at Bowdoin College, May 4, 2013 by the author. Reprinted here with her permission.