i was born 4425 miles away from here
in a country rich with history
that is starting to disappear.
to add insult to injury,
centuries-old castles are crumbling,
falling away like our citizens
and tragically few are stumbling,
not even a backwards glance.
me? i left over ten years ago,
an anniversary marked on the calendar,
a reminder to not look back, just go.
pretend there never was danger.
pretend that we all have a better life.
pretend that our hearts are here.
pretend this is the direction in which to steer.
pretend there is no resentment.
my mother left behind a doctorate,
my parents left behind a life of strife,
but we have no family here.
i've never heard my baby cousin laugh.
i grace funerals with my absence.
i don't know if my aunt's eyes
crinkle at the corners when she smiles.
my parents had to start anew,
and i know they thought this through,
but the weight of this sacrifice
weighs down upon my shoulders.
i am atlas, carrying foreign boulders,
and my muscles ache.