Left home at sixteen, said you wanted to go see the West. Grandpa didn’t stop / you. Figured you might die in some jungle across the Pacific.
October 27, 2020
Left home at sixteen, said you wanted to go see the West. Grandpa didn’t stop you. Figured you might die in some jungle across the Pacific. Sink into the ground, disappear into the dirt. He thought that you should see the country for yourself before you got drafted. You thought the mountains and deserts might show you what you’d be fighting for.
Out by L.A., you got stung by a spider, wound wouldn’t heal. Some doctor said you were too young to care for yourself. He wouldn’t treat you. Maybe the dirt on your skin made you too brown. You drove the old Chrysler eight hours, past Sugar Mountain, up to Walnut Creek. Aunt Mian Mian had to take care of you.
Came home after six months. Realized you weren’t ready to be on your own yet. All your friends already left for college. You waited a semester. Ate Grandma’s zongzi and worked at the library. Still had the scar on your arm. Didn’t figure out what you’d be fighting for. You were just born here.