When I left my birth country Cuba,
I swore to myself never to look back.
I was a child of four and yet I learned two valuable lessons that night that I left Cuba,
One: Parents lie,
For I was not going to the beach,
Two: that I never want to come back.
Eighteen years later,
I now know I left more than my pink shoes in that mud of the bay,
I left behind my innocence.
My naiveté on that shore is buried along with my pink princess shoes.
The ocean was no longer a happy, inviting place for me.
For it is very scary to be out in the middle of the ocean at nighttime.
A young child of four,
That darkness and silence mingled into one.
A place where I was present and yet at the same time I was not there;
For I could not see my hands,
Only the white of my mother’s eyes.
And so there was a time that I felt lost,
If I were a plant it would equate to being pulled and uprooted from an enormous mother tree,
And thrown spaces away, in the dirt,
At the mercy of the elements.
And yet, there was hope.
There always has been and will be,
This beautiful country opened her arms to me,
Like a mother calling out to her beloved child,
Yes, I was orphaned,
But now I am found.
For Mother is called not only the one that gives birth but,
Greater is that Mother which raises and instructs,
For she will be known as the True Mother.
This is my home, America.
For she welcomed me with open arms,
When my Birth Mother threw me out to the sea.
So, who I’m I, you may ponder?
What is my identity?
I, identify myself with this Mother of Freedom,
Where those once uprooted like me,
Can truly say, this is my home.
I am an immigrant.
I am a castaway.
A desterrado, an uprooted.
But I am somebody in this beautiful country,
Where I have a voice.
I am thankful.
I am grateful.
Long live America the Great,
Long live America the Beautiful.
For she has given me a chance at a better life,
An opportunity not to relive the mistakes of my anscestors.