Where I’m from…


I am from the American dream that convinced my family to come

To live such free lives…Actually, to fall for such blatant lies

I am from the hopes of opportunity and economic success

Leaving family and familiarity for the sake of a chance

To succeed, be happy, chase freedom and live the American dream

I am from parents working three jobs to support their kids

From refugee tents to government housing

I am also from incredibly long waits for the Marta bus

All in the hopes to live the American dream

I am from always being behind in school

From knowing to never ask mom for money

After all, Wal-Mart didn’t pay much.

All in hopes to live the American dream.

I am from never understanding why we ever left

Everyone seemed happier back home. Everyone was happier back home.

When I asked my sister about the master narrative that surrounds my poem she said “bitter, cynical and opportunistic.” I thought it was interesting that she defined the master narrative as such because as the writer I was completely unaware the the poem came off like that. In writing this poem I didn’t necessarily encompass where I individually came from; we are not refugees, my dad is American and I come from a middle class family. However the friends that I surrounded myself with did come from these lifestyles and this is the constant narration that I received from them. Even though I wasn’t from that lifestyle, I soon felt like I adopted this similar mentality and become one of ‘them.’ My personal idea of this poem was that the character represented felt misled, stranded and helpless. However apparently in the eyes of the outsider I come off as cynical and bitter. Maybe my friends that have experienced these feelings are truly bitter inside and I haven’t been able to see it or I could have simply misrepresented them in my poem. Based off of what my sister claims is the master narrative, I believe that I unintentionally confirm it. It is interesting to see the disconnection between individualized expression and outsider interpretation. I feel as if through this process I learned that words cannot simply represent a person in a way that fully justifies the individual. Outsiders looking in will inevitably base their interpretation off of past experiences and master narratives.

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