Tarah Valin was a student in Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes’ 2023 Summer Session class titled Humor, Laughter, Foolishness: Performing Love, Resilience and Resistance. This poem emerged out of a chapel on belonging. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a video of Tarah reciting her poem. 

My Lang Pesada 

in my lengua materna 

when a 

second generation 

generation 1.25

generation x

generation timoun isit 


struggles against years of assimilation 

struggles against la migración

struggles against americana 

struggles against la bandera 

struggles against “english please” 

and all of that fighting results in 

an awkward smile and looking at 

your mom to translate your sheepish 

mumbles into the language of your 

ancestors, the language of your alma

they say “lang ou lou” 

which means 

tu lengua es pesada 

que significa 

all the pain of your antepasados 

sits on top of your lengua 

so when you try to lift it para 

hablar Kreyòl 

los taínos groan their songs of 

dethroned royalty 

and when you try to lift your lang

pou pale español 

the perejil fills your mouth 

until all you can taste is 



which tongue 

ki lang 

cual lengua 

will you use to speak your resistance? 

¿cual lengua es tuya? 

Tarah Valin

Tarah Valin

HSP Summer Session '23

Tarah Agathe Valin is currently studying at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Tarah enjoys writing about the mundane, unimportant aspects of life as a way to look at societal happenings. Tarah’s latest project is a mini-collection that serves as an attempt at theopoetics.  https://isgodontinder.my.canva.site/ (Best read on a computer)

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