Promise Land

When I was born, my Ammi was full of promises. I was born with promises. I was born to be in this country full of light. But some people made me feel like a burden. They shamed me, made fun of my name, of our differences, of our accents, of our skin, our clothes, our hair, our body. They clambered on me, they stomped on me and left their prints on my heart. So I started saying sorry a bit more. So I started to wear some American clothes hoping I belong more. So I started to feel ashamed of my parent’s language, stopped eating samosas and biryani and food that exploded with flavors from the hands of my mothers. Then a few years passed and I realized they were all wrong. Who were they to mock me? I too was just as much American, even in my cotton kurtas and my floral hijabs. Now I put my hands into fists and get up, not to stomp on them but to walk away from the crowd. I’m my own, I’m not ashamed, I’m a new promising land for my parents, I’m their better future, I’m their hope their dreams, and I will settle down and plant myself and they will be able to rest there.