You, If No One Else - A Poem by Tino Villanueva from San Marcos Texas
Listen, you who transformed your anguish into healthy awareness, put your voice where your memory is. You who swallowed the afternoon dust, defend everything you understand with words. You, if no one else, will condemn with your tongue the erosion each disappointment brings.
You, who saw the images of disgust growing, will understand how time devours the destitute; you, who gave yourself your own commandments, know better than anyone why you turned your back on your town's toughest limits.
Don't hush, don't throw away the most persistent truth, as our hard-headed brethren sometimes do. Remember well what your life was like: cloudiness, and slick mud after a drizzle; flimsy windows the wind kept rattling in winter, and that unheated slab dwelling where coldness crawled up in your clothes.
Tell how you were able to come to this point, to unbar History's doors to see your early years, your people, the others. Name the way rebellion's calm spirit has served you, and how you came to unlearn the lessons of that teacher, your land's omnipotent defiler.