His Story

Cisneros, Sandra

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Aull, Felice
  • Date of entry: Dec-10-1996
  • Last revised: Dec-01-2006


In this autobiographical poem, the poet describes with tongue-in-cheek her status in a Mexican-American family as seen from her father’s point of view. It is clear from the outset that the father is unhappy with his only daughter’s behavior. Unmarried, she has left home to make her own way while her six brothers remain at home. The father accounts for her behavior, and at the same time predicts its consequences, by recalling all the female relatives who ended badly: widowed, in jail, cursed by voodoo, alone. The most "audacious crime[s]" of all, however, is that of "disobeying fathers."


Sandra Cisneros grew up in Chicago, the child of working class Mexican-American parents. She has decribed herself as a "Chicana feminist" and as "nobody’s mother and nobody’s wife." This poem is interesting to use in a discussion of feminism. It is also well suited for discussions of cultural diversity, together with poems written by authors representing other ethnic groups, such as Li-Young Lee (Asian-American, see this database), Lucille Clifton (African-American, see this database), Linda Hogan (Native-American, see this database).

Primary Source

My Wicked Wicked Ways


Third Woman

Place Published