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To all the immigrant parents

Luz Cortés  |  Issue: November | December 2018

You laughed, cried lived and grew up at home

You were familiar with the streets & knew when to be home

At some point – you realized home wasn’t enough

For whatever reason, you had to leave

Perhaps there was never enough food on the table

Or universities wouldn’t allow you in because you are a woman

Maybe people would regularly die in your block

So you packed a suitcase or two, looked back at home –

Didn’t whisper “see you later” instead you said “good-bye”

You went to a foreign land

Foreign to you – but you were called the foreign one

You tried learning a new language all while balancing how to survive and fitting in

Most days were hard

You’d take the same streets back home

Except this time – it wasn’t home

You’d call your family on the phone, bragged a little about how there was hot water when you’d shower

You would cling to that hope that you’ll see them again soon

You’d talk to the grocery store cashier, hearing someone behind you mocking your accent

Sometimes money was tight, so you’d take the night shift to make ends meet

You never complained or gave up

That’s why the universe sent you someone to share your solitude with

So you’d call your family again on the phone, bragging how you met someone special

The years passed and you began to have a family

You made sure your kids had the things you probably didn’t have growing up

You taught them two languages, you taught them manners and the importance of school

You taught them the importance of hard work but never revealed the 14-hour shifts you’d take

Maybe we don’t thank you enough, but we are so thankful for you

We see your hard work, and will never truly understand the things you have been through

But we see it, and we love you

Thank you

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