Momma says, "Education comes first."
Momma advises, "Do not marry for love, marry for money."
Momma scolds, "When I was your age, I was herding cattle"
Momma yells, "How dare you complain, when I have given you all this?"
Momma says, "I have given you everything, so you must repay me in the future."
Except momma says all this
in our native dialect of Chinese.
Except momma doesn't know how very hard it is
to fit in when all your classmates are white,
to hang out when money should be saved for groceries,
to fulfill her hand-me-down dreams.
First generation -
children of foreigners in a different nation,
children of foreigners defined by immigration,
children of foreigners who survive through adaptation,
children of foreigners with no secondary education,
children of foreigners who face many a limitation,
children of foreigners who cannot afford to have their own dreams.