Adela Najarro


Adela Najarro is the author of three poetry collections: Split Geography, Twice Told Over and My Childrens, a chapbook that includes teaching resources. With My Childrens she hopes to bring Latinx poetry into the classroom so that students can explore poetry, identity, and what it means to be Latinx in US society. Every spring semester, she teaches a “Poetry for the People,” workshop at Cabrillo College where students explore personal voice and social justice through poetry and spoken word. More information about Adela can be found at her website:

It Has Always Been 

The day beginning outside an apartment window. 

            A hummingbird flittering to a forgotten 

                        plant on a balcony. The mushroom 

growing out from soil held in a broken 

            piece of pottery. It has always been 

                        my mother’s fault. The universe grew her body, 

then my nerves, my bones, my skin, 

            so I have kept her whispers in the secret pockets 

                        of weathered jackets and tattered handbags. 

Why am I here? At one moment on a bed. 

            At another sitting in a chair or walking down stairs. 

                        Are we together or apart? Which universe 

grows the Spanish vowels sounding through a soft sea? 

            I come from the wings of a migratory 

                        bird sailing the Earth’s magnetic field. 

I am soil that has been lost. I am a stalk of mint 

            overgrown in a garden. I am the creek outside. 

                        Follow the path down toward water 

and look up to the sky. It is blue. 

            Everywhere on this Earth. Do you see 

                        how we turn on this planet? Can you feel 

the rush as we rotate round the sun? Is it true 

            that the universe collapses or are we expanding 

                        so much that we will stretch into infinity? 

My mother loves the trees, the redwoods, 

            the Monterey Pines, the eucalyptus, the old live oaks 

                        with their bristle leaves that scratch and pinch. 

Here, ivy grows, cacti expand into their pots, the hydrangea 

            continues to bloom blue each spring. 

                        I do not remember my own birth nor the sound 

of my mother’s heartbeat. What is before then? 

            I existed as a star in a galaxy, 

                        then I sailed the waves of gravity into her body. 

I grew from a little fish to a wailing girl baby 

            with sharp fingernails and a toothless grin, 

                        then I entered this world of Spanish gendered 

endings where el femenino turns half of the language 

            into menstrual blood. Why do letters fall into whispers 

                        and ride a faint breeze through the pines? 

My mother’s secrets. Here, in the trees. They grow. The universe. 

            The universe grows my mother’s body. 

                        Can I say I come from her? 

© The Acentos Review 2020