A Child Of the Melting Pot

April 1, 2013
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I am a child of the melting pot
Throw in some okroshka
And cabbage soup
With a whole lot of cattle
And a slice of Montana sky
Mix it all up
And let it sit
For several generations
Then ladle it into bowls
In the Bronx
And in Albuquerque
And in Chicago

But don’t offer the soup
To my Great Uncle
Because it doesn’t speak Yiddish
Or Russian
Don’t offer it to him
Because it will never know what it is like to fear for it’s life
Just because it is Jewish
It will never fear pogroms
And it will never refuse to turn on the lights
On a Saturday

Don’t offer the soup to my late, great-grandma
Because it won’t ever brand cattle
Or herd them
Or build fences
Or know what it was like
To have to see it’s husband go
Because he was one of the only dentists
In Montana
North and South Dakota

Don’t offer the soup to my grandma
Because she is gone
And even if she wasn’t
It would go down funny
Because the soup would be a little too sweet
And naive
To settle next to her blackened lungs
And broken heart

To these people
The soup is just a little to
English speaking
City dwelling
To go down easy

So they watch the soup boil
and simmer
And smell it
Stirring occasionally
So that it doesn’t burn
Each dropping in a bit more
Or cattle
Or okroshka
Or cabbage
When the others
backs are turned

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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

Metal4Life said...
May 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Great analogy to using outside historical references! The word choices in this poem are very well done. It defiantly has a great flow and easy to read! Well done!
Chichot123 said...
May 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm
I loved it. It is a little dark but really deep. Write on. :) 
MyApocalyptic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm
This is great. It captures the spirit of an individual growing up in a diverse American family, trying to make your own identity while still trying to keep some of your history for your own. Our pasts are very complicated, and the people who make them, even more so. Your poem is beautiful and heartfelt, carrying a little of both your new, melting-pot spirit and the old ways of the old-timers who made it that way. Awesome :)
WeLiveForOurScars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm
This is so great, I love it. I love how you made the analogy of a literal melting pot to describe your family history as that is often a term that is used but never thought of in the way that you put it. 
TheEpic95 replied...
Apr. 15, 2013 at 8:43 pm
I agree. The analogies are beautiful. This ia a good example of free verse and I just delighted in reading it and puzzling it. I was conplaining to a pal that my list of favorites on TI had been unexplainably emptied and so I couldnt show her a free verse I'd liked, looks like this may be the start of a new list ;)
laurengerhard This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm
Your writing style is so beautiful.
Mckay This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm
I can relate to the whole diversity thing here. I like your similes and metaphors. And the words you chose give this poem a playful feeling which makes it therefore fun to read. 
LexusMarie said...
Apr. 8, 2013 at 8:24 pm
I love this.. great, great job. Word choices in here are amazing. I love how it flows, it sounds really nice read out loud. I love the comparison of soup and yourself. The first stanza is wonderful.
jmitchbb replied...
Apr. 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm
Thanks so much!
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