Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Involuntary Adoptee Immigrant

I am not second generation.
I was torn from my mother land.
Whether abortion or miscarriage,
I was not born American.

Maybe torn from legs forced apart
Or broken hearts
Or a nation knuckling under
Or shameful nonbrides
maybe anything
but I am of another land.

I am an immigrant.
A wetback, a wanderer
an interloper, a foreigner
with skin too dark and hair too long
missing my native tongue
playing a two-sided drum
in New York

learning from other immigrants' stories of love,
and triumph, and pain, and anger, and service,
and fear and hope

Watching Star-spangled banners whipping in defiance
against the foreign threat.
Knowing I'm 'Other,'
a problem

I can't sing "God Bless America"
or pledge allegiance to a flag-- (What a strange idea!)
because I know with a pen stroke I would not be here, American.

it's not fate or love or justice or mercy that brought me here
it was a greedy industry and a fluke
I could have been Dutch, a Swede, a Kiwi.
So it's not so special
I'm an immigrant. American.
I am not second generation.