Maps | Teen Ink

Maps MAG

March 27, 2013
By zoekibbelaar BRONZE, Curacao, Other
zoekibbelaar BRONZE, Curacao, Other
2 articles 0 photos 9 comments

There is a map on my wall
With pushpins jutting out of it,
Begging for attention.
Red for the places I've been,
Blue for the places I wish to go,
White for the places I am from.

I have two problems:
First, I have run out of blue pins.
I really should just paint the entire map
the dark cobalt
Found alongside the muddy brown
of Nonna's tacky collection of ceramic ducks

But, more importantly,
I feel like I am cheating when I look at the
four white pins:
Verona, Italy
Biel-Bienne, Switzerland
Willemstad, Curacao
Groningen, The Netherlands.
The pins jut out of the map
Like the pearly white teeth of my ancestors.
But they are spread across continents,
They don't fit in one jaw.
They never touch,
They can't tell stories together
So I'm left, feeling lost,
Lonely teeth glaring at me from all directions
Because “Where are you from?”
Is anything but a straightforward question.

The author's comments:
Growing up on a Caribbean island that can adequately be described as one of the most unique blends of culture on Earth, attending an international school, and having four grandparents from four different countries ensured that I have always greatly valued culture. My friends joke that when people ask me where I'm from, I should hand them a pre-written response rather than talking their ears off. Jokes aside, I have never felt like my ethnicity or my nationality fit in a check-marked box, which I explore in this poem.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Sep. 22 2013 at 9:28 pm
nelehjr DIAMOND, Lingle, Wyoming
60 articles 11 photos 379 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Great poem! Kind of how I feel tonight! ♥ Rock on! So you grew up in four different places?