“Another Day, Another Destiny” by Mya De La Rosa

Mya De La Rosa (age 14)


Favelas that I could not see slide down
In the mud of my memories, clanking
Tin roofs I slew past because
A frothy mouthed dog or a bubbly boy
Might steal my heart—it’s hollow anyway.

Favelas of different names are
Eluding my grasp because they aren’t mine.

While hustling to the bus stop skirts sway close,
Nahuatl legs and culture swelter
Bloody around the bend in our poor minds.

Tío Boy, like a dry leaf, whisks away
In the dizzy breeze, protecting his dogs.
He shits in a bucket on Nina’s porch
Because he needs money on the cracked streets
Where kids play, under sneakers, with caged birds.

Pero yo no soy guey, yo soy fresa.
And the white boys preach, “Liberty!” all day
While I write. My daddy gave me more.
Gave me more to know and more to work for.

Far, home is a lonely place without me.
Haze sticks there, so I’m looking to the path.
The forks, worn or smooth, will make me mighty.

I’ll wait for the women and men, just now.
Shine the star for my sailor eyes to sail
These glass waters to new worlds.

from 2020 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Mya De La Rosa: “Writing poetry, for me, is an act of silencing a creature flapping about within me. On the page, the monster becomes something different, released from the recesses within me, and free to unsettle another mind some other day.”

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