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Immigrant Struggles

my parents came to America with 60 dollars,
clutched between their anxious fingers-
 the same ones they used to build me my future.

their memories-
comprised of a tattered wedding picture and decaying postcards-
cling to the walls of a one-bedroom Pittsburgh apartment,
yearning to be absorbed into the American melting pot,
sifted with the dreams of every other immigrant.
my mom spends Sunday mornings 
with cloudy skies filtered through her eyes,
fingers running through soaked rice,
humming tunes from a world I didn’t live in
and when I look at her, I see an America
that doesn’t have to have a glazed turkey
on the kitchen table or spools of blonde hair.

I am a child of sacrifice, 
raised on gurgled melodies
of a land that streaks my
blurry dreams. 
I am peppered with love and 
glass promises that I dangle with every failure 
because here-
I cannot afford to fail.
so when you tell me to go back to my country,
I gaze at the beige walls of my house,
built atop their weary bones,
looking at the ceiling as they have,
sleepless in their ambitions.

I stand still. 

Copyright © Krithika Shrinivas | Year Posted 2019


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  1. Date: 1/7/2019 4:16:00 AM

    So very well said!
  1. Date: 1/6/2019 4:33:00 PM

    Inspiring journey. You have been blessed with wonderful parents. I also stand with you. Wishing you all the best.