I Am From
I am from Saigon, Vietnam
A city that no longer exists.
I am from my mother’s orphanage
From the lost children of the Vietnam war
Whom live between two identities
Accepted by none.
I’m from the sole tattered photo my mom owns
Of her dad.
An American soldier, lost to the war.
I am from my mother’s pho cart
Two years old, and tucked underneath
Shielded from the sweltering sun.
I am from my dad’s Cyclo rides
From his sweat drenched shirt
And the daily struggle to provide.
I’m from chain smoking and skipping meals
And from Sunday night confessions.
I’m from my dad’s daily visits
To his favorite Pho stand.
I’m from my parent’s hopes
As we await our fate
To come to America.
I’m from clasped hands and prayer beads
From broken English and interviews
From our elation of the news
We are finally approved!
I’m from the plane ride to New York
Three-years-old with curious eyes
A bright future.
I am from never fully grasping
My parent’s sacrifice
Yet always holding it close
Feeling the ripples of their trauma along the way.
I’m from new beginnings and identities
From first-generation college student
From breaking generational curses and therapy
I am from the pile of books in the corner of the hallway
Still waiting for their place.
I am from medicated oil, and a hot bowl of Pho
My mom’s miracle cure all.
I am from yesterday’s prayer and tomorrow’s hopes.
I am from the accumulation of all of our dreams.