Hija de Tejas / Daughter of Texas
by Anjela Villarreal Ratliff
The body seeks the way back home
And mine, the long way there . . .
I followed the bloody trail
to Europe, pre-Columbian Mexico,
the Mexican-American War and
then to Tejas — donde nací.
Texas, from the Caddoan: táysha,
meaning friends or allies. The second largest
state, a country really: from vast plains and rich valleys to snaking
rivers and mountainous chains under a lone-star banner,
with echoes of six flags still waving their altering
hands, saluting nations that once claimed the land —
colonizing, encroaching on Apache, Caddo,
Coahuiltecan, Comanche, Choctaw,
Jumano, Kickapoo, Kiowa, Tonkawa . . .
Amigos y enemigos embroidering a grand history,
birthing wondrously mingled sons and daughters.
Today, I am at home in my Texan skin:
piel canela, voz bilingüe, corazón Tejana.
Anjela Villarreal Ratliff is the author of several chapbooks, including Entre Piedra Y Sol, a collection of haiku, senryu, and haiga. Anjela has recent work in Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku and Haiga (Dos Gatos Press).