by Annasofia Padua

The day I found my mother’s journals,
I was bathing in similarities stamped onto her pictures.

There has always been something about her that I want to relate to.

There is a whole earth in the stories,
a world in which her skin was the soil.

Her words were the natural disasters,
threatening to shake their way out from her mouth,
from her pores.

They told me her hair grew as fast as mine,
I wrote in a story one time that it was because
I had all this energy my heart couldn’t pump out,

I think it was true in her case.

I remember the day I found her journals as I
was sunk by the slow digestion of my grandma’s cooking,
everything seems to run quicker in the States.

it’s like my ancestry pulls me by my shoulders
and my ankles even my stomach,

like I could melt into the pavement
and a native flower would grow in my place,

in the States it feels like anything will
eat me up before that happens.

I was holding up truths that seemed accurate to me,
while observing how light bounced off her cheeks
and how she could harvest it at the same time.

My nose was getting itchy,
my aunt’s voice was poking at my throat,

I wouldn’t cry because she knew more,
or because what she knew,
collapsed my truths.

There in all of the dusty pictures, lay a black journal,
the handwriting ugly, like mine,
a similarity I could be proud of.

I found her journals hours after I had written a poem,
I found out she loved someone other than my father,
I found out she was a poet.

IMAGE: “Girl reading at window” (stock image).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this piece about finding my mother’s journals full of poetry while looking through boxes of her photo albums. She died when I was one and ever since I remember, I have been writing poetry. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out that she also wrote poetry by stumbling upon those journals. It became a moment of clarity in my search for my own purpose, it was also beautiful to find out the way I did, and not by someone telling me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Annasofia Padua is Senior at Miami Arts Charter majoring in Creative Writing. She has published poetry in several magazines and she focuses her art mostly around self-exploration. Annasofia Padua has written works in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Anna loves being outdoors and finds that the natural world inspires her the most.