[Poem] Bound

An extension of the June Quote of the Month.

Xiao Mei lives to see the dawn of the day.
The hues of brisk yellow match her skin like Chardonnay.
“Be a doctor or lawyer,” both of her parents say.
“It’s not like artists make money anyway.”
Michael is Michael because Mwenye was too hard to pronounce.
But “DeShawn” and “Tyrone” were his names thrown around.
“I bet your dad left you!” his classmates tease and flounce.
But they were the ones who left him feeling broken down.
Fahima always wore her hijab proud.
“It’s not that fashionable. You’re like, wrapped in a shroud.
But this doesn’t affect our friendship,” her friends vowed.
Though when they made plans, she was never invited out.
Jesus strives to uphold the legacy of his name.
His strong arms lift the burden of disdain.
He takes on the jobs no privileged man would claim.
But you know the privileged man doesn’t feel the same.
What constitutes as the American Dream?
Success and wealth and the idea of being free?
Maybe what it is, is what it is indeed.
The meeting of high standards of an oppressing society.
Whether goal-bound, homebound, or career-bound,
Their opportunities are limited to what their surroundings allowed.
Bound? More like boundaries, clearly marked on the ground
Of the caged individuals in the lost, stray pound.
Bound by their parents, their school, their friends.
Bound by their jobs, and never-ending dead ends.
Bound by this dream neither yours nor theirs.
Bound by a system where nobody cares.
To achieve the Dream, a lot more has to be done
Than just sitting around thinking, “One day, we shall overcome”.

Dedicated to an acquaintance of mine, M, and every other POC who feels bound by the restrictions of this seemingly “free” country.

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