Ode to Latin American Women

Painting by Sergio Ferro

When you look at them, forget
the adjectives smoldering and sizzling
for the stereotype is a heavy burden to carry.
Try to see their mind so rich and ripe.
(I know that can be scary)

Their calloused hands are waiting
for more than being a domestic goddess
or the exotic queen.
They are trying hard to move beyond
Machismo, misconceptions and what
lies between.

Some symbolic acts are so violent:
they squeeze people into permanent roles,
perpetuating stupidity and blindness,
killing thoughts, hearts and souls.

Don't expect them to be a senhorita all the time.
They have blood in their veins.
Don't misinterpret their jiggling bracelets
and tight skirts.
They are not only flesh. They do have brains.

They are expected to sacrifice themselves
for their children and family or stay in the kitchen
or in bed all over the world:
a myth sustained by the media phenomenon
as truth lays curled.

Give them a chance at education.
Don't label them because of their color skin,
clothes or accent.
Save them from the ethnic and racial prejudice, please.
We are more than suppose your vain philosophy.
So open our rusty padlock and give us the keys.

Karla Bardanza

senhorita- miss in Portuguese


Copyright©Karla Bardanza 2012

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