My grandmother saw America
not as a land of opportunity,
but as a last resort.
Taking off only when there was nothing left
Leaving because a twenty-six-year-old with four children
cannot provide on a dime.
My grandfather saw America
as a place to get by.
Because working three jobs was better than sharing one
Because being frustrated was better than being broke
My grandmother tells me
that she was scared
when her baby was ripped from her arms by doctors,
and no one could tell her what was wrong.
My grandfather tells me
that his days in Venezuela
were days of adventure,
his days in Italy
were days of imagination,
and his days in America
are days of survival.
My father tells me
that things are better now
Everyone has an education,
We speak English.
We live in neighborhoods where no one shares our story.
Things are better now,
but there is a hole that will never be filled.
We watch soccer on RAI,
we share Italian recipes,
we try to learn the language of our ancestors,
but nothing will ever be the same
My father sees America
as a place where we can be free,
but he sees Italia
as a place that he can call home.
Title Translation: We See America