Once Upon A Time

“Once upon a time”

I heard it time and time again.

But it was never about me.

It was never about us. 

The stories, the poems, the cartoons.

They didn’t talk about us. 

“Silly brown boy, heroes don’t look like you” 

We were young. We were naive. 

It never occurred to us, that at time we couldn’t be the heroes. 

They wouldn’t let us be the heroes.

We didn’t have the right skin,

or the names,

or the status. 

And the parents,

They were just trying to survive.

To hold on to who they were,

…Who they came to this foreign land as.

Like sand, slipping through the cracks of their fingers

They tried. 

The kind of trying where you hold down 2 jobs…

Or maybe 3…

Heck, sometimes even 4.

But they didn’t know. They didn’t understand what the brown boys and girls were going through. 

Those silly little brown kids. 

The ones that had their own struggle. To assimilate. To integrate. 

Trying to figure out WHY they didn’t get Christmas presents.

And WHY they couldn’t wear costumes on Halloween.

But they did it…we did it. 

We preserved, and crafted our identities in a place where we were told we didn’t belong. 

And this is where we flourish. 

Here’s where we take what we’ve learned and pass it onto the next generation. 

To go airborne, to be unapologetic. 

Fly young ones, fly.


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