LATINO VOICES

Spoken Word Poets Recite Unlikely Tribute To Badass Abuelitas

Abuelitas to the rescue!

Rick Grimes has nothing on Latina grandmothers. Take it from from spoken word poets Jonathan Mendoza and Melissa Lozada-Oliva, whose piece "Zombie-Destroying Abuelita II" is a heartfelt and, at times, funny homage to the fearlessness exhibited by many generations of Latina matriarchs. 

Though this version of the spoken word tribute to the daily badassery demonstrated by grandmothers was originally performed at the National Poetry Slam Semi-Finals in 2015, it was recently uploaded again to Poetry Slam Inc., just in time for Mother's Day. 

Recited in second person, the clever poem breaks down how the matriarchs' inherent strength, grit, thriftiness and heart will help them -- and those they love -- prevail if there's ever a zombie apocalypse. "You are the shorter, more wrinkled version of Rick Grimes. You are centuries of back breaking labor, the corn crumbs you turned into meals for your family,” they recite. “You are matriarch despite machismo, transmitting lessons of your resilience to a grandson across the border who once did not know your name." 

Yes, grandmothers like the protagonist described in this spoken word poem are the ultimate survivalists, "ready to survive with just head, just mouth, just heart, just hands, just sweat, just eso, eso y eso!” They are born leaders. They will keep calm and make due with what they have available to them, sparing what they can to help others in need. They will do whatever necessary to ensure their family is together and safe. They are warriors. 

"'Ya voy niñas,' you say into the wind," recite the duo. "Zombies flying by you in every direction like all the years you have lived. Arms tired but not weak, spirit worn but always here even past death. Like this will always be how you survive. Like love will always be your war cry." 

Watch the entire performance above, and share it with the kickass women in your life. 

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