In Memory of Sandra Bland
CHARACTERS: MAYA – A Latina
CHORUS – of Latina
MAYA: This is my family history. As my mother told me As her mother told her. Repeated As Mexicans do At the table
CHORUS: Truth bled In red chile Slathered on thick tortillas
MAYA: Because that’s what Mexicans do.
CHORUS: Eat and repeat Their truths Over food
MAYA: Tears land in jail cell Albuquerque New Mexico Where in police custody great-grandfather Can’t speak Can’t defend The body He can’t Control 12 year-old son crawls into casket great-grandmother dies of broken heart
CHORUS: Muy joven So young Eat and repeat inherited pain Tears land 2 in jail cell Tears that make An ocean
MAYA: So when you ask me, Officer, for my license and registration
CHORUS: My blood’s been here before.
MAYA: You let him die Of a stroke In jail Because you thought He was a drunk Indian.
CHORUS: You let him die Of a stroke In jail Because you thought He was a drunk Indian. NO, I AM NOT DRUNK NO, I AM NOT DRUNK
MAYA: NO, I AM NOT DRUNK But yes, Officer There’s Indian in my veins I know because I was raised in an ocean of tears.
Elaine Romero, award-winning playwright, has had her plays presented at the Alley Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Kennedy Center, across the U.S. and abroad. Elaine is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. She holds her MFA from UC Davis. She is an Assistant Professor of playwriting and dramaturgy at the University of Arizona.