Hispanic Heritage Week: "Herencia"

Argot is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month through artwork.

 “Herencia” / Heritage  Claudia Rojas

“Herencia” / Heritage

Claudia Rojas

Heritage, an anthem

Locked doors and closed signs

point toward you.

All the classroom teachers

who didn’t look like you.

 

So I’m promising the promise in you

halls of congress / college classrooms

science labs / bookstore shelves

film credits/ systems of oppression:

make room for my heritage.

 

Wherever you enter, your heritage walks with you

This is your body, tu herencia.

A heritage that is golden

even as you’re growing old.

Receive it like a gift.

A heritage that is golden

even as you’re growing old.

 

There are plenty of rooms for me to enter.

No one considered me until

I collected los tambores, la marimba,

and las maracas and asked you to dance.

I’m asking you to dance with me

teaching you to celebrate me.

 

Wherever you enter, your heritage walks with you

This is your body, tu herencia.

A heritage that is golden

even as you’re growing old.

Receive it like a gift.

A heritage that is golden

even as you’re growing old.

 

You be alive, you switch on that electric smile.

Twirling and turning, learn to fill the room

or be kept out. Take these caresses and teases in

the ear, kneading sunbeams into skin.

 

This is your body, tu herencia.

A heritage that is golden

even as you’re growing old.

Receive it like a gift.

A heritage that is golden

even as you’re growing old.

 

This is your body, tu herencia.

This is yours.


Claudia Rojas is a poeta from El Salvador. She holds a Bachelor’s in English from George Mason University.  Find her poems in The Acentos Review, Poetry is Dead, and The Northern Virginia Review. Find her on Instagram.