As we sit in this class today,
In a magnificent school that we have to pay,
Everyone around us had their passage paid
By a person or persons that goes back to a date.
Some may date their journey back to when the Pilgrims came,
Or when an earthquake hit,
Or when the soldiers maimed.
Our payers came from countries good or bad,
Like countries colored in with red.
Many lived lives that they wished they didn’t have.
Many had no fathers,
No one to call “Dad.”
Hearing about the huge plantations
And gold found across the deep blue sea,
Our payers paid for the trip to the land of the free.
Traveling by themselves or with family,
They rode the seas wearily.
Sweat and tears,
Dung and fear.
Hoping that they would find the American Dream,
They embraced the arduous trip,
Acting as strong as a beam.
Whether they landed in the tobacco land or Gull’s Island,
Our ancestors found themselves surrounded
With races as colorful as a garden salad.
With little money to afford warm and lavish clothing,
Our ancestors were always freezing.
Some saved money for their own schooling,
While others saved for their family’s moving.
As their stomachs growled every now and then,
They swore they could eat a cow that was just for them.
With fingers all swollen and backs all bent,
They worked everyday twenty-four seven.
Their lips were as dry as the Sahara Desert,
But their hopes were as high as the twinning towers.
“What did they hope for?”
You may ask.
Just look at yourself.
Is there a mask?
Your eyes, your ears
Your mouth, your tears,
All came from the feelings of hope.
They hoped that we may be here
In this wonderful room titled 1 1 2.
We shouldn’t ask for more.
We couldn’t ask for more.
They all came for our future,
Trying to make it as good as the Hollywood pictures.
Through pain they worked.
Through illnesses they fought.
Their hope never wavered,
To meet us all later.
From Tin to Tan,
From Schoich to Sokoloff,
They loved us all dearly,
And so should we,
For they gave us a life,
Without a guarantee.
They fought hard for us,
Like soldiers in a war.
They didn’t know if they won,
Or if it was a draw.
But they do know that they tried hard,
So thank God for that,
For if they didn’t,
Where would we be at?
Hayden Tam ’17