Rosie Tejada

Rosie Tejada is a first generation Filipino-American and proud mom of two. Her father was a Bataan Death March survivor and Filipino veterans rights advocate. An elected official, she currently serves as the Jefferson Union High School District Board President. She is also on the Board of Directors of REACH Coalition, a coalition of elected officials and community-based organizations of color in San Mateo County who are steadfast in dismantling systemic bias and long-standing barriers to access across the county.

Poem on Belonging

IN HER MIND

I.
She was a ripe cherry tomato
picked sweet off the vine,
left to spoil on the kitchen counter
covered in grease from splattering bacon.


II.
The piercing sun
danced into my autumn, and
waved as it passed into fog
and clouds
and moaning Pacific air.
I am covered in mist,
chilled, shivering,
bitten
hard
by jagged little teeth,
shards of summer good-byes.


III.
It’s kind of funny, he said, Isn’t it funny
how things turn out?  (No, not funny.)
He actually laughed (faintly, but it was a laugh).
His rambling apologies increasingly dinned, then
his words slowly silenced as they rolled down
the tin funnel in her head.

She stared uncommitted at his blurring face,
until all that was left was the mouth
that used to say it loved her.

Copyright © 2022 by Rosie Tejada. Used with permission of the author.