From a poetic exchange on the Indigenous Caribbean Network, reproduced with the permission of the author, tainoray:
MAMI & PAPI
For many of us Puerto Ricans our parents' childhood was very poor.
Boriken to them was hunger.
Access to a proper education was difficult.
They didn't come to America for a vacation, they came for a better way of life.
When they came here a lot of cheap jobs were waiting for them.
They worked the kitchens, swept the floors, served the food
They worked 40 hours for 20 hours pay if they were lucky
"Mucho trabajo, poco dinero," they said
They lived in rat and roach infested buildings but at least they had a roof over their head
Food in their bellies
They played the numbers looking for that pie in the sky
When they came hear nobody ever heard of Puerto Rico
They called them Spics, Wetbacks
They whistled at our mothers they new they were fine
They tried to beat up our fathers until they learned they could fight
They never complained
They never went anywhere
They told us to go to school and become somebody
They took us to the Villas and the Puerto Rican Day Parade
They kicked the St. Patricks Parade to the curb
They fed us rice and beans, pasteles & lechon on Holidays
All that good stuff
And to La Iglesia on sundays
They taught us their culture
They came home tired
We inherited the slums, many paid the price
But we are still here
I'm just trying to tell their story with this soliloquy
God bless them
This is not a Puerto Rican Obituary