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On the Wire

I heard of a man who walked on a single wire
Between the former twin towers in New York City.
He was attached to nothing, and only had a pole to keep his balance.
One small misstep, and he would fall hundreds of feet until he landed on the concrete,
His life over in an instant.


With each step he became closer to his final destination,
And though he knew what lay beyond, I believe,
He preferred focusing on the tiny inches that lay directly in front of his feet.



Maybe this “Man on the Wire” was not as insane as we, the spectators, once believed.
Perhaps, he was simply displaying the tangible act of our own daily struggles.
Don’t we all try to calculate each step that we take?
To balance the expectations and the fears and the hopes that this world pressures us to carry?
After all, didn’t Dr. Seuss warn us, saying, “Life is a balancing act, kid?”


To me, I balance on the wire that lies between
two countries, two cultures, and two identities.
I am the “hyphened individual,”
The Asian-American, in which that one punctuation mark symbolizes an entire lifetime of balancing the two names that reside on either the left or right.


To fall to the right would mean rejecting the other,
to prefer the left would mean you were a traitor,
And this wire, isn’t stable.


But, even if this wire extends for a matter of days, months, or years,
Even when I fear that I will fall thereby losing a sense of myself,
Even when I want to quit, and I pray, questioning God why He created me this way…


I keep moving forward.



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vegan416 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm
i loved your analysis of that guy's actions. at times, it was a little unclear but it is a different and cool way of thinking about it. readd my stuff??? im kinda new and just want some feedbackk
 
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