(Photo courtesy of Daniela Robles)
East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Poem: I will never forget


I remember listening to my mom’s romantic Spanish music,

my dad’s cumbia band and my sister’s violin recitals.

I remember listening to the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s

and early 2000s.


I remember eating the diversity of foods,

from Mexican to Guatemalan,

to Chinese and even Mediterranean.

I remember looking at my plate,

imagining if it was a festival of colors.

I remember eating my mother’s food,

richer and finer than bland school lunches.

I remember strolling through an alley

just to get to my grandma’s house.

I remember my birthdays,

my nose pressed onto the cake

and playing with my sister, cousins and neighbors.


I remember hearing the horn

and smelling the bread and sweets

when the van came to the streets to sell.

I remember hearing street vendors

hollering to attract customers to buy food.


I remember going to church

and hearing my dad play the organ

that echoed the whole room.

I remember walking the streets of Cesar Chavez,

only to accompany my mom with her errands.


I remember listening to diversity of sounds and music

when I walk in the streets of Boyle Heights.

I remember looking at art in bus stops,

trashcans, walls at convenient stores and schools.


I remember coming back from school,

only to listen to my mom watch “El Gordo y la Flaca”

and “Primer Impacto.”

I remember getting ill from my stomach

and getting my appetizing remedies such as crackers

and 7 Up or Mountain Dew.


I remember school dances and events in elementary school

that only brought me joy.

I remember going to Hollenbeck Park,

only to feed the ducks bread and tortillas.

I remember going to family reunions,

where I had to greet everyone.


I remember family trips going north of California,

looking at the beautiful scenery of beaches,

forests, mountains and plains.

I remember wandering near the ocean shore

and hearing the waves like it was a harmony in an orchestra,

a church choir or an a capella group.


I remember drawing and listening to music

believing that I was watching a movie

of my own creation.

I remember dancing in parties

and getting lost in the rhythm.

I remember looking at my art progress

and dreaming that someday it will

come to life.


I will remember that someday,

whenever I leave my home, Boyle Heights,

if I will ever be known for my art or talents

and if I will ever come back for a visit,

I will never forget.