Teenage observations of life in the borderlands

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readOct 30, 2022
There is beauty in everything. Mi Mexico lindo. Photo by Sean Benesh on Unsplash.

I’m writing a collection of poems, not sure if I should call it a book yet, about living in the borderlands. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

In doubting moments, I ask myself if I should keep writing these poems. “What do they mean?” is another question, and “Who wants to read them?” is a third question.

And there are other questions. Then there are moments when writing feels easy and the words go from mind to arm, from arm to hand, from hand to pen, and from pen to paper. Those are the best moments.

In everything that we do, simple or complex, there are questions on why we do it. Questions we ask ourselves and questions that others ask of us. For some reason, questioning our way of doing something is easier than jumping forward and doing that something.

Yet, I’m determined to keep writing. I don’t know who the audience will be or what I’ll find to say about this magical place I call home, but I know that writing is something that won’t go away.

One of the poems is titled “Mi Mexico Lindo,” which translates to “My Beautiful Mexico.” It’s written from the perspective of a young man named Vincente who is asking himself questions. As a teenager, he’s in that in-between, where things aren’t so black and white.

He sees the colors of life, and also the greys. His observations turn into thoughts. His thoughts turn into questions. As he writes, he begins to see something more meaningful, something deeper. He notices the differences in people, in cultures. He wonders what makes people happy and why that happiness is not enough depending on where you live.

Vincente’s mind is growing, his eyes are opening. If he keeps asking questions, even if they are his own questions, in his own mind, he will begin to understand his community, and grow a deeper appreciation for who is and what he has in his life.

When Vincente is alone, he writes down his questions and his answers:



Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.