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  • Writer's pictureConvening Storytelling Team

Stuck in the Split Space

Below you can read Hannah Griffith's poem Stuck in the Split Space in her own hand from her journal. Click on any image to enlarge. A transcription of the poem follows the images.




A woman whose womb feels full of seeds, not eggs.

Why are you?

Half Mexican, half White 

But look like a "What are you?"

Spanish on my tongue taster like the bitter 

appropriation of my own culture.

Where are you?

From a place that connected fried hair

and pale skin to ascension.

Nevermind the wide nose and wider thighs.

Don't look if you can help it.

Too full, mija.

Too holed, child.

Not enough, woman.

My degrees fill me up and emanates shadows

over my tattoos and piercings.

My eyes glaze over at drug-fueled bar

Conversations Spiraling from something less

into nothingness.

What is this place?

A split space.


A misplaced face in a sea of people whom never quite deface,

but nonetheless lead to a feeling of displace-men(t).

A place where women rule and men roam.

I try to spool the thread, but end up

unraveling the miles of women who've

carved and shaped the passageways to

HERE.

What if Texas Teachers hadn't beaten

the Spanish off my grandmother's tongue? 

What if my mather and aunties had

teachers who rubbed their swollen bellies

and healed their blackened bruises? 

What if my eight schools hadn't eaten me

up and swallowed me whole - unknowingly

guarding me in their wombs against 

resentful beatings from familiar fists?

What if my sister had a fighting chance

to relinquish the images in her heed,

instead of being thrown in this covid-

soaked rat race of life at 17?


What if the ghost whose haunted my

dad long before my 28 years- whose name I share and presence I felt

through his abandonment and evictions,

methamphetamized crazes and religious

contradictions- had been the catalyst

to teach resilient strength,

instead of a justified sinking?

As I explore the halls of New Legacy

and tether a piece of my heart to

this community, I Know any of us

could have walked here and been

entrusted and encased in this space; and

felt split-yet stretched,

morphed and reshaped. 

Where love endlessly permeates through

ambiguous structures, and soft hands

offer the reform of mind.

A newly chosen-perhaps discarded,

but never frozen

consciousness defined.


The what-ifs can simply be myths

to hold onto;

but here are based transparently

upon two: 

parent - child

teacher - student

admin- educator 

Where the ifs turn into

hows and whens and whys

that shape the whos -

no matter the wheres.

We are here together.

Split.

Re-pieced.

Broken.

Re-paired.

U.S.


 

Storyteller



Hannah Griffith

Teacher


Hannah Griffith is from Orange County, the eldest of seven, and a first generation college graduate. She received her Bachelor's degree in Literature/Cultural Studies and a Masters degree in Education from UC San Diego. She currently teaches 8th grade English, Advisory and Broadcast Journalism. She is three years into her profession and continues to develop her craft everyday. Hannah loves guiding her students, exploring diverse works of literature and other artistic mediums, and fostering community and collaboration between her students and colleagues.

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