Home 9 Issue 9 Signature by Marie Pulido

Marie Pulido, age 17

I wrote this after seeing a picture of my mother pregnant. For context, I grew up with teen parents. My mom got pregnant when she was sixteen, and so I grew up alongside her. I was often judged by my peers for it. My family was seen as a typical “statistic.” So seeing that picture, seeing how similar we looked at the same age, acted as my inspiration.


A signature is often the reflection of oneself – a graphological art.

As a child, I would get upset at my mother over her signature. It was simple, young and often messy.

The other parents’ signatures were intricate, aged and refined. They displayed loops and swirls, embellished with a birthright for success.

But my mother fell short of this. She was perceived as a graphological error, hidden behind scribbles and stressed attempts to fit in. She was a child, who birthed another, causing a shifting trajectory of who she was written to be.

If only my mother’s defining mark wasn’t so small, I thought to myself. Maybe, just maybe, I would be a supple flick in the wrist of the writers, the profound creator instead of the detested creation.

In the dichotomy of my mind, I had an epiphany – I drink from my mother’s milk, born a strong, clay woman. I need no signature to evolve. I embody all. For I am my mother’s daughter, one who defies all rules of writing. I am as ancient as my ancestors’ temples and as profound as the quetzal that hums.

I am my mother’s daughter and I belong.