“Hi, my name is Julianne. I like writing poetry because there’s always a sense of fun in it, and I like writing silly ones that make my family laugh. I also like writing meaningful ones that really mean a lot in the world. What inspired this poem was a story about an immigrant that gets rejected, and I don’t think that it’s a story that gets told a lot, and that’s what I like to write about, stories that are different and unique.”
Poem on Belonging
HOPE: LOST AND FOUND Asians, Irish, boats galore, so many new places to explore. I take off my hat and look at the sea, the powerful Lady Liberty in front of me. I put my hand over my heart, and do a quick pray, that we will all remember this day. The first day we came to America now, then I pause and do a quick bow, To the woman who represents freedom and justice, is welcoming with open arms to all of us. My boat docks, and I get off at the island. I look at the place that will soon be my land. I get in a line, and after long hours of waiting, I get to the front where a security guard is stating: “Drop your luggage, come with me, So we can make sure that you are healthy.” We get to the room, and I spot it’s all white. It gives me a slight sense of fright. They ask me to sit on one of the beds, And then they methodically check me from toe to head. They look very worried, and I wonder what’s wrong, then the interpreter comes along. He says I’m not fit for this country, his look fills me with dread, So back to my country I have to go instead. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but it has to be bad. I was so close to realizing the dream I had. I had hoped for a new future, just me and you. But now I guess my old one will have to do. Going home to my country is a sad fate, But even there, I know my life will be great. A wife, two kids, and a little dog too, I know my life will be better with you. The promise of my American Dream, found at last, even ideas from the past. I keep it in my heart, even if it can’t be, ‘cause I know it will always be here with me. Good ideas, new and old, Now I have a story that’s ready to be told. Exciting thoughts I bring to my land, Liberty, freedom, and justice I now understand. Though I cannot be in America now, I’ll bring this hope to my land, I vow. America is an exciting new place, but not everyone can win this race. I have lost, but I’ve also found. The hope of my American Dream, on my own ground.
Copyright © 2022 Julianne Cheng. Used with permission of the author.