These Walls

These Walls

By Erika Garza Johnson


So many walls to climb

The walls are our your own dna.

The walls is “Don’t cry boy because you are a pussy.”

Wall is “You are an hocicona. Shut up angry bruja.”

The walls is “Don’t be a puta.”

The wall is “You are fea because you are brown.”

Always looking on the other side of the wall to see your own beauty.

The wall is “Don’t speak Spanish.”

The wall is “We don’t talk about our history. Some things are best forgotten.”

The wall is “You are so gorda. Why do you eat so much?”

The wall is “You don’t eat enough. Don’t be vegan. You’ll be malnourished.”

Wall is “Don’t act so tough. No one will marry you.”

Wall is “When are you getting married? When are you having another kid?”

Wall is “You forgot where you came from.”

Wall is “Te crees muy muy.”

Walls in your hometown.

Walls in your church, you aren’t Catholic anymore, “Ya no crees in Dios.”

Wall is “Why did you marry a white man?”

Wall is you are “Still here but so far away.”

Wall is you want to leave this place. But you feasibly can’t.

A pipe dream to go somewhere with no walls.

Wall is “You are an outcast in Gringolandia. Those eyes that judge your lawn. Your whole existence.”

Wall is “You are too educated. You lost your street cred.”

Wall in your own heart always building a ladder to see your old self.

Wall, your four walls in your office, as you to learn to educate others to break down walls.

Wall, always walls to climb, you must exist to reclaim your voice, be heard, be outspoken, resist.

You were a stranger to walls, brought up in a neighborhood with no fences. But all these walls break you down. You want to break down. You find solace in the moon, the sky, the palmas, the urakas, the church of nature, you pray to the wind, worship the rain, and the walls won’t be ignored, but will come down.

You are a wall. Strong, protective, full of vines, words, wisdom, song, holding in the ideas and thoughts of your own, a fortress for your folklore.  

To keep out intruders meant to shatter your dreams.

The walls of your home to be a place for so many more artists, poets, philosophers, teachers, brujx, activists, curanderx, revolutionaries, to flourish.

I will use my walls to protect anyone who needs shelter.


About Garza Johnson

Closer to Crazy Cat Lady status than award winning poet, Erika Garza Johnson, coven of one, writes and lives in McAllen. Author, editor, instructor, mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, frenemy, local loca, xicana, tejana, word witch y fideo enthusiast, Garza Johnson is working on her second book but mostly trying to balance it all while keeping sane and pain free.