Polish-American | Teen Ink

Polish-American

February 24, 2019
By Marysia PLATINUM, Halifax, Virginia
Marysia PLATINUM, Halifax, Virginia
32 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Perhaps I am

The former

The lover of tradition, the woman who wears

Flower crowns and prays

To all of the Saints in Paradise when she is in distress and eats

Her grandmother’s barszcz z uskami and celebrates

Her name day rather than her birthday

 


Or perhaps I am

The latter

The individualist, the woman who wears

Midriff shirts and worships

Any man or any woman who makes her feel loved and eats

Fast food that her mother says is fattening and celebrates

Her birthday rather than her name day

 


Or perhaps I am

The hyphen

The lover of tradition

Who sometimes deviates from the norm, the woman who wears

Flower crowns

To match her midriff shirts and worships

Any man or any woman who makes her feel loved as long

As they know how to pray the Rosary and eats

Her grandmother’s barszcz z uszkami

With a side of fries and celebrates

Her birthday, but then readies herself for another party

Knowing that her name day is just around the corner


The author's comments:

A poem about (obviously) my life as a Polish-American. I've always felt like I was caught in the crossfire in the two cultures, and it caused me a lot of pain. I dedicate this poem, cliche as it may sound, to all of those hyphenated-American kids, to the kids growing up in two worlds and feeling like they belong to neither, the kids like me. You matter.


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