Heritage

She took me away
From the home that betrayed her,
Hoping I’d have lighter scars in my life

I kept only phrases and words
A toddler needs to know:
Give me, come here, enough
Sit down, eat, no

I remember a song
Whose lines I mispronounce,
Food I couldn’t name or cook today

I’ve inherited only
Eyes, a mouth, and nose;
Fragments of faces tied to
A culture I never called home

She took me away so I wouldn’t be
Raised with knives
No child of course can be saved from
Every sharp thing

But I’m given, I go, there’s enough
I can sit, and eat, and say no

And my only hurt is an immature heartache;
A baby’s cry for what I could have written
In the language I still haven’t learned