Tuesday, January 1, 2013

of dreams


Grace @ Everyday Amazing


you didn't get to taste   
Canadian baked apple pie --

not for the first 3 years
that you live in this city -
preferring your wife's hand-rolled coconut 
milk sweets & saffron-dusted treats -- 

but these days, you bring either ham or
turkey sandwiches for lunch at work, mindful
of curry smell of your skin and breath --  

from eating rice with butter-based ghee, 
& potatoes and lentils with Indian spices, 
you politely inquire about everyone's weekend--

in this city of snow  & maple leaf dreams, 
you have traded your family's name & pride 
for the promising future of your only son 

here - in this city where immigrants
work shoulder to shoulder, cowed & bowed
from cold winter & scarce job market--

this is the city of forgetfulness --
(even the immigrant consultant forgot to tell you) 
to survive, forget the past & make a clean slate,
making mistakes, learning to conform until

you speak English slowly with little accent, 
(while writing your English novel at night)  
wear suits & pass courses - all stamped with approval -  

at the turn of the year, you buy  
groceries (including wine & apple pie) with
your modest income at nearby Walmart's store -

hailing a waiting  cab for home -
(you refused to take the driver's test still)  
the driver is turban and gruff of hair, 
another survivor, a mirror of you & you

chat, eager for a slice of familiar soil,    
comparing notes, and for a moment 
both of you remember

your dreams 



My top post for 2012 and all time is Follow Your Dreams.  I decided to write the same theme from my office mate's point of view.  And yes, I made this apple pie from scratch yesterday.  Thanks for the visit.      

Shared with D'verse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight - Tuesday

68 comments:

  1. Happy New Year. The pie looks amazing.

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  2. Ha, I know first hand that Canadians make good apple pies. This is a wonderful poem, Grace, reflecting on the dreams of immigrants who yearn for and hopefully find a better life in a land with a culture so unfamiliar to them at first....and then they try the apple pie! And eventually learn to drive. But still enjoying that delicious curry as well.

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    1. I learned how to do it Mary & my whole family loves the smell of home made pies ~ Thanks for the thoughtful comments and visit ~

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  3. Loved reading this Grace. Your concern comes through strongly. The apple pie looks good too!

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  4. mmmm fresh apple pie...what an interesting and hard life it must be for an immigrant, all things new...still holding onto a bit of the past...sounds like he is doing it for a reason, his son...and you have to admire that...nice write grace....

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  5. Oh my, now I will have to make more PIE! Happy new year to you too!

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  6. I love this about Pie, OMY Grace I adore pie, just lovely, happy New year!
    Love the picture!

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  7. Oh you have captured him so well, with great empathy. I LOVE the poignancy of the closing lines.

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  8. immigrating into a foreign country isn't easy for sure..and it's important they adapt but i think they should never forget their dreams and heritage...a lovely capture grace

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  9. Grace,
    What challenges immigrants must face...the idea of uprooting, of adapting to new and strange cultures, flavors, expectations...you've made a thoughtful, reflective piece out of that conflict. You've also given it an inspired ending as they both remember other times. Very nicely done.
    SK

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    1. It is a challenge instead Steve as some immigrants don't survive here. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

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  10. Such a graceful interesting poem k

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  11. I love this piece Grace. Probably has to be one of my favorites of yours. Excellent write and the pie makes me drool. Happy 2013 :)

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    1. It was delicious, thank you & Happy New Year ~

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  12. ah this poem has such weight! So many great lines in this piece, and I love how you've used the food to symbolise and echo the backdrop - the integration and threat to self almost, "preferring your wife's hand-rolled coconut
    milk sweets & saffron-dusted treats --

    but these days, you bring either ham or
    turkey sandwiches for lunch at work". Brilliant write!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts OT ~ Nice to read you again ~

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  13. Oh, what a wonderful idea, Grace... to redo your top post (which I remember). I hope 2013 is wonderful for you.

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  14. Hopes & Dreams....the metaphor being the tastes of different foods from around the world... great concept an really well executed...this is creative and thoughtful, AND challenging....

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  15. very insightful write, it feels like you have lived a bit of life inside his head...at least you gave us an honest glimpse of it. happy new year to you.

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    1. I am an immigrant myself, so I can relate to his experiences ~ Thank you Kelly~

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  16. thank gawd i ate half an hour ago - or i would raid the fridge right about now. delicious, Grace... and wonderfully written.

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    1. Ha..ha..Thank you for the visit ~

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  17. so delicious, Grace!:-)
    Happy New Year!

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  18. I like the way this comes together at the end (I'm not sure you even need the last line). The pie looks very good too. Happy New Year. Matthew

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    1. I wanted to empathize on big dreams ~ Thank you Matthew ~

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  19. There is such a poignancy and beauty about this poem that speaks to the courage of those who have left what they know behind and have ventured into a new world. I love how you chose food to symbolize the reality of immigration. Now I'm dying for a piece of that apple pie! And a visit to Canada (when it's a bit warmer.) But I'm on my way to the California desert where half of Canada migrates along with the geese...and looking forward to seeing those friends we've made.

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    1. Travel safe Victoria & take care ~

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  20. A wonderful write, Grace. Love this. Happy new year . :)

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  21. I am the child of immigrant parents who needed some peace in their lives and wanted to give their children a better life--so this piece resonated strongly with me--on a lot of levels. Happy New Year Grace!

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    1. Well I am on my 7th year in Canada so retelling stories like these are meaningful to me ~ Thank you Audrey ~

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  22. Www, Grace. You always leave me in awe of your power to tell a great story.

    ~Nara

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  23. pie should be a food group unto itself!!!

    wonderfully told, Grace!

    happy happy new year!

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  24. I enjoyed how you got inside someone else's skin. Happy New Year. I agree with poetry-diary about the last line.

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  25. Great! My interest was caught right from the beginning... Bravo. I love the use of the &'s and especially the "you & you" at the end of a stanza. Happy New Year!

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  26. I think this poem has planted an apple seed which I will dream about tonight.

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  27. ..this speaks of many familiar stories of my fellow Filipinos Grace... i am touched though felt sad knowing these people had to leave their families to work abroad and earn a better promise for their loved ones..their children even if it would mean a total absence of their presence on the growing stage of their children... sometimes these long absence make a mind forgets... peace & love for the rest of the year Grace... and smiles... happy new year...

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  28. You had me at apple pie then tugged at my heart strings with the rest. What a great tale. Thank you for sharing it with us; you told it well.

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  29. Giving canadians a great wrap, with all the apples abounding at your sea and a pie of words is baked by thee.

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  30. beautiful & touching... & there's little more canadian than apple pie imo ;)

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  31. Nice!! Very thought provoking!! Loved it!! :-)

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  32. I like how you used food to help tell the story. Like always I could almost taste it.

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  33. Excellent telling. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. So many are going through this as they search for a better life and pursue their goals. Very human and felt. Nice connection at the end there -- you put the two of them on the same level although their lives have different challenges.

    Happy New Year, Grace. :)

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  34. So cute when I read about Indian spice...happy new year

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  35. I love the story-telling in this. Friends of ours from Nigeria have recently left Scotland to try and make a new life in Canada. They found the official welcome from the UK authorities lukewarm at best. I hope they do better over there.

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  36. piquant story, i can imagine this feeling of transition

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  37. How much do we leave behind to follow our dreams? and follow and follow with moments of visiting the familiar. I'll bet your colleague will love this poem!

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  38. Sensitive, meaningful, and colorful look into the longings of immigrants..Very nicely done :)

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  39. lovely how you took something so simple and made us a story... I'd like some of the Canadian pie, please

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  40. So well done--I always make it a point to share a kind word with immigrants, knowing that if I found myself in their place I would appreciate some kindness. Just beautiful!

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  41. Yummy to the apple pie!This is a touching story/poem.; I'm beginning to wonder just what "a better life" really means. As well as the word immigrant....seems like our lexicon of language needs an upgrade.
    Peace, Grace!

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  42. Interesting to see the perceptions/portrayal of the immigrant (from South Asia)...and the pie looks completely to die for!

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  43. Very fun !! Having been an immigrant for 12 years of my life (Pakistan, India, China & Japan), I know the feeling. But for me, always knowing I had a way out gave a much different feel from those who fled or who came for economic hope. And much different from those who have others to support (I didn't at that time). AND, from those who lose status here -- I was always somewhat privileged (and sometimes hated) where I lived -- but never looked down on.

    So my immigrant experience is different but share a few things.

    As per my post: Yeah, I know you got electric eyes in the girl's room too but they don't stare at you like ours do! ;-)

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  44. Love that you did it from your coworker's point of view. She should always follow our dreams. Your pie looks delish!

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  45. Omg...how btfly u hv given n insight into the struggle n fight of n immigrant...can actually visualize it happening....thnku for sharing it ..
    N your pie is just so mouthwaterng..yumm :P

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  46. I found my way here by accident. But I have also found I like your writing. I have followed. Wonderful. :-)

    Dean
    http://leftcoastguy.com

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Thank you for your comments and visit. I appreciate them ~