A Generational Blessing
By Francis Gutierrez
Oftentimes I tend to focus on generational curses, the bad traits I’ve received from my family. My piece reflects on this and the generational blessings passed down.
Passed down from my grandmother to my mother to me
a box you do not want to open but you need
And it’s stuck in the core of your being
It’s full of tears and heartaches
Full of complacency and ignoring your mistakes
A raw kind of sadness that hurts your soul
and makes you question life and growing old
but if you look hard enough and stick your hand deep enough
you’ll find a string of pearls
each showing perseverance and hardwork,
unconditional love and friendship
that string of pearls is brighter than the rest
It makes opening this box
More of a treasure than test
When I heard that the theme this year was “unmuted,” I knew I wanted to talk about traits being passed down. The things your parents never really talk about whether it be love or stubbornness. At first I wrote a draft on this topic, my mentor Ashna Shah helped me edit this draft. We both came to the conclusion that this piece didn’t necessarily match my voice. So we did a free write on this topic and there came my piece which after some final editing is now done. My first piece was more reflecting on the negative of traits being passed down, seeing it as a curse. My final piece kind of looks at this topic of generational curse in a more holistic manor, reflecting both the bad and the good and how it has affected my personal experience. I really liked a video concept so we worked together on making a lyric type video for my piece.
Meet the Pair
Mentee Francis Gutierrez & Mentor Ashna Shah
Mentee’s Anecdote: Working with Ashna these past two years has been amazing! She has helped my writing grow so much and honestly makes the process so much more enjoyable. She always gives helpful and constructive feedback and makes sure we work our way together through my pieces. I am honestly so grateful to have her as a mentor, she makes the process so much more enjoyable and worth it.
Mentor’s Anecdote: Working on this piece was another glimpse into the mysterious mind and talent of Francis. I find myself in awe of the insight and fresh thought brewing under the surface! We started with one piece, and realized that while it used all the right words, her truth was missing. Starting over with a free write, Francis reached deeper within herself—coming out with a thread of honesty and clarity and even some pain that we both felt hit a different note altogether. I enjoyed not just the end result you’re about to see, but the entire process of discovering it.
Francis Gutierrez is a Manhattan-raised, young Latina writer with a passion for activism. Her work ranges from self-reflective poetry to informative and analytical journalistic pieces. She hopes to make a difference with her writing and to help others.