Papi’s Loud Silence-Introducing Gladys Hidalgo


[Poem by Gladys Hidalgo, photo by Georgia Park]

my father is a very Religious man

that is to say

he was raised holy

to be above the masses

to be more than

he was always being

more than

my father has conversations with god

whispers in his sleep

convey the what is to comes

of the fUture

he cries with joy

wheN he Relegates the content

of his holy meetings to me

exclaims with great faith

that he has been chosen

has been saved

wants me to write down his prophesies

so his failing memory

doesn’t disrespect his lord with forgetfUlness

he would Never want to fail his god

i want to believe him

i want with eveRy inch of greedy hUmaN in me

for my fatheR

to be speaking in langUage of truths

but my memory is disrespectful

my memory does Not fail

my memoRy is open pastUre

sowN with the seeds of his past

i am living pRoof that he is lying

he is false prophet

his words are sprinkled

with the actions my mUscles react to automatically

i think he knows

i caN’t believe him

my calves twitch

with the uRge to move in the opposite direction

bUt it will take 5 more red lights

before i am close to home

my father is a very religious maN

he has conveRsations with god

he is saved

he is holy

i repeat this

like an oUr father iN my head

synapses lighting up

in hopes of making it past the next 5 Red lights


my disbelief coUld kill me

and I love my father

but he is religious

and he speaks to god

and history

has showN what kind of destRUctioN

can be wRoUght wheN man believes

he can speak only

in the language of truths

[Gladys Hidalgo is a spoken word artist deeply involved in her home community of Lynn as a teaching artist at Raw Art Works. Her poetry is rooted in her Latinx ancestry. She has performed at some amazing events such as World Aids Day Boston, The American Voice 2015, Wheaton College’s iSpeak, Femme Nouveau Women’s Empowerment, Co-hosted LTAB Crossing the Street Open Mic 2015 as well as The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship and Northeastern University’s MLK Day Event.]

4 thoughts on “Papi’s Loud Silence-Introducing Gladys Hidalgo

  1. Gladys! This piece strikes the perfect balance between the tension of your conflict with your father and the breathing room for your audience to really inhabit and process the poem. Bloody hard to do, but you do it with grace. Is there a significance to the capitalization? I found myself struggling with that.


    1. Thank you Nate, that means alot coming from a master of the craft like yourself. The capitalized letters spell out RUN, they get closer to get her near the end making it a bit easier to read.

      Liked by 1 person

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