Dare I Say / Y Me Atrevo a Decir

 Dare I Say
 By Cassandra Martens Diaz, Mexican-Canadian, 17, Manitoba, Canada
 I do not pronounce it with familiarity 
 I do not read it
 I do not spell it
 Dare I say I speak it at all 
 Pepper burns my tongue 
 I turn away from the heat 
 I do not take the spice
 Dare I say I have a taste at all
 The Jalisco too small 
 Tucked away, unused, unworn
 Body stiff, and still 
 Dare I say I can dance at all 
 Though in my blood
 Though in my citizenship 
 It is not to be found in me
 Dare I say I am Spanish at all
 Y Me Atrevo a Decir
 por Cassandra Martens Diaz, 17, Manitoba, Canada
 No lo pronuncio fácilmente 
 No lo puedo leer 
 No lo puedo deletrear
 Y me atrevo a decir que lo hablo
 El ají quema mi lengua 
 Prefiero alejarme del chile
 No tolero el picante
 Y me atrevo a decir que lo saboreo
 Mi traje de charra me queda chico
 Alzado, sin usarlo ni vestirlo 
 Cuerpo rigido, e inmóvil
 Y me atrevo a decir que bailo 
 A pesar que está en mí sangre
 A pesar que está en mí ciudadania 
 No lo he podido encontrar en mí
 Y me atrevo a decir que soy Latina 

  Cassandra adds: "My family immigrated to Canada from Chihuahua, Mexico when I was 
very young. Since I was raised in a country that was culturally very different from Mexico, I have always felt detached 
from my extended family because I lack a lot of the experiences that they’ve had. It is important to me that 
I continue to work on my Spanish and learn more about my mom's culture.. I am just beginning to submit my work 
for publication. I was inspired by Jessica Wang’s heartfelt story submission, Xiang Xiang, 
published by Skipping Stones."