Second Generation

Dear Mother and Father, <br /> <br />

<p>I know that lately <br />It’s all been door slams and disappointments, <br />But I will never forget the skin and soul you left behind in Kiev.</p> <br /><p>Stories pour from your lips like aged wine without hesitation- <br />The bittersweet loss of Home,<br />The dingy New York apartment that smelled of cabbage and hope,  <br />The alienation of illiteracy.<br />You remember Kiev without sins, only sadness. </p> <br /><p>They speak of the great and terrible burden of an immigrant: <br />The sacrifice, <br />The pain, <br />The fear. <br />And they are right, <br />For you have lost more than I will ever know. <br />But that is the curse of an immigrant's child- <br />My humdrum heart will never know your suffering. </p> <br /><p>Whenever I feel my shattered spirit seeping into my cells, <br />I know <br />You’ve had it worse. <br />When stress scars my face with blemishes and crumples my chest, <br />When all I can see are ACTs and the doughy flesh spilling over my waistband, <br />I know <br />That none of it will ever match your sorrows. </p> <br /><p>There is always guilt in the hearts of immigrants' children <br />When they struggle, complain, or disintegrate. <br />What right do I have to feel so hopeless when you’ve torn apart your life for my future? <br />How dare I waste your pain with my mediocrity?  <br />I have no excuse to be miserable when you have given away everything for my happiness, <br />And yet,  <br />Sometimes, <br />A breath is beyond me. </p> <br /><p>Do not mistake me for being ungrateful. <br />I thank you for raising me in a country where my Sabbath prayers are not a crime, <br />Where I have a chance to become what you could not. <br />But at times, <br />I wish that being born American had not come at such a price, <br />And that you had never paid it. </p> <br />Sincerely, <br />Your undeserving daughter 

This poem is about: 
My family
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