As your fingertips lingered on my arm,
I felt the chill of struggle strike my bone.
Your hair draped across my face, and brought me back to your past.
The grease gripped your thin strands while you moved frantically.
Customers yelling at you was the only way of getting to listen to professors' lectures.
Education was your foundation: your way of getting further.
Although foreign words rolled off your tongue, you strove to understand everything you learned.
This is the formula, this is the formula, this is the formula…
You played lectures over and over to understand and comprehend.
As you studied numbers for your math classes,
The lines of equations turned into the straight lines of the American flag in your mind’s eye,
Reminding you of your goal to succeed.
As you sit here with me,
I remember all you had to give up to get here:
Your birthplace, a culture, an identity.
But I know I will make you proud.
Prouder than anyone you know.
I will work.