1,000 miles: step 26

Thirteen days and counting until national immigration reform marches. When I hear the word “immigrant,” I think about the Latino community. I wonder if this is a generational mindset. It’s likely a shared experience of these times.

Wednesday, I had a student from Afghanistan at the library. During our computer session, as people often do, he asked what I was studying for. I blurted out something about teaching at the college level because I wouldn’t be able to handle teenagers. He seemed to understand, saying that wouldn’t be a problem in his country. At the end of our session, he thanked my “teaching.” He told me how difficult it had been when he first came to America. To this day, jobs don’t come easy.

Most of the students that I work with are aging adults. Last year, the summer I started volunteering with my local library, I met a 17 year old Latina student. She knew nothing about computers and was pregnant.

Sometimes, I see a person grow in their confidence with computer usage. She is not among those I have seen again. From time to time, I think about her, and I wish her the best. As Americanized as I can be, I want my community to succeed. They deserve better. All people deserve better.

Experience

We wanted to soar

from across oceans and borders

we dreamed of soaring so high,

but when we got there our wings fell off slowly,

like hourglass sand.

We stuffed our savings into banks of expectations,

and we lost everything

forever foreigners there

though our tongues had learned

to mimic their language–

it has not been enough.

Still, we manage humbleness,

thankful that this new land did not greet us

with plagues of war-zones or destruction.

Only we never could have imagined

how much we would miss

believing we could soar so high.

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