Strength..

Children look up to their parents

Mothers and fathers strength epitomize

But my parents were new immigrants

Always meek, afraid- it took me long to realize

How strong they were- forced to seek asylum

In a country where they knew neither language nor custom

They tried to earn a living honest

Stretched thin, they did strive to give their children the best

**

When I was young, I did not understand

Their obsequiousness, apologies constant

I was angry whenever I saw them not take a stand

Against insults and injustice, they remained silent

I knew the language, was learning in school

Principles of equality, liberty etc.- but I was a fool

Equal before law does not necessarily mean

Equal in society-we lived at the fringes, largely unseen

My parents worked quietly, in the background

Noticed only when they made a mistake

They would rectify their errors without making a sound

As if indifferent to insults, after all money was at stake

**

Ah, money is what makes the world revolve

Our lives revolved around it too

My parents worked with a steely resolve

To put food on the table, any honest work they would do

Workers’ rights, benefits, equality of pay

Did not concern them in any way

Their docility often caused me aggravation

Much later I understood their situation..

**

Language was a barrier hard to break

They learnt English, but spoke with a painful accent

Also a very long time it does take

To learn language that cultural nuances represents

Those insults, the blows to their self-respect that I perceived

They were partly shielded from, they were able to quietly receive

Because the language used they did not understand

It helped them survive in a foreign land..

**

I have seen their confidence grow

With every milestone attained

They look you in the eye, their eyes glow

Their initial fear has now waned

I have, as their daughter, found

A respect for their early tribulations profound

Their strength did lie in their being meek

Their actions spoke when in words they could not speak..

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