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Immigrant By Miriam Wagoner
Writers' Weir: Immigrant 081617 AE 1 Capital City Weekly Immigrant By Miriam Wagoner

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Story last updated at 8/15/2017 - 6:20 pm

Writers' Weir: Immigrant

Immigrant

By Miriam Wagoner

You’ve come a long, long way

and you’re making it,

please give yourself a mark!

You’re a symbol of courage and strength

of bravery,

of perseverance,

of undaunted faith.

What can be harder than

leaving your native land

to live in one foreign to you,

forget yourself,

and be the one you’re not?

You can’t speak your language

you can’t eat your foods,

you can’t do your ways.

You make sure you abide the laws

you don’t even know.

It feels like home when you see the sun again

so you go outside

wearing your shorts and shirts

only to realize

it’s cold to your bones.

You patiently wait in line to wire transfer

doing your duty as breadwinner

or share what you call a “blessing”

sending a hundred dollars or so to loved ones

for school, medicine or food

or to celebrate a special occasion

or to mourn, from a distance.

You work so hard,

doing a job or two or more

you sure miss your pastime

to sing or dance or do nothing.

You also miss your family and friends back “home”

but most of all –

you miss yourself.

Wagoner, who came from the Philippines, became a United States citizen 10 years ago. To readers, she says, "With all of my heart, I dedicate this piece to each one of you, who, like me, lives or has lived the life of an immigrant."

Wagoner is currently writing a memoir and is compiling her poetry for a public reading event at Hearthside Books' Nugget Mall location on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. Further details forthcoming.