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  • DAVID MENDEZ

Tell Me, Mariposa


(For the monarch butterfiles in our lives)


Tell me, mariposa

That what our people say about you is real


Tell me, mariposa

That you are the realization of resistencia

In the natural world


Tell me, mariposa

That your journey

And struggles

Is our own story


Tell me, mariposa

That you are the ancestors among the marigolds


Tell me, mariposa

That our instruments and songs

Give you strength to cross the continent


Tell me, mariposa

That our footsteps shake the colonial strongholds

Over our sacred earth

That every blood and teardrop

Will make the path less painful

For those who follow


Tell me, mariposa

That you carry the names

Of our missing loved ones

Long after we used our last breath calling them


Tell me, mariposa

That we are healing

Because we chose to exist


Tell me, mariposa

That we are forgiven

For our human frailty

Our cruelty, our arrogance

Our every transgression


Tell me, mariposa

That our scars

Will not carry over to the spirit world

Or pass to the next generation


Tell me, mariposa

That our loved ones fulfilled their journey

To the Creator’s arms


Tell me, mariposa

That we are still loved by the spirits

That they hear our prayers


Tell me, mariposa

That our movement continues

That you carry our resistance


Tell me, mariposa

That our danza and our drums

Bring medicine to our people


Tell me, mariposa

That our languages

Are still spoken


Tell me, mariposa

That we no longer carry

The curse of traumas

That we carry blessings

Along with new hope


Tell me, mariposa

The words of your sacred footprints

So that we may find our way to you


Tell me

That we the descendants

Coming back once more

Beyond all storms

Still thrive


Poem: DAVID MENDEZ is a writer from Saint Paul’s West Side working in education and in the community. He draws upon his blue-collar roots and Chicano experience in his works. He hopes to inspire others to take up the pen and share their stories.



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