Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Uniquely American" -6/24/03 Pia V. Pulido

"Uniquely American" -6/24/03 Pia V. Pulido

Every summer, when the heatwave prickles through my skin, I think of that place where I was born,
In a tropical archipelago made up of 7,000 islands
On the side of the Pacific Ocean
Where a unique blend of east and west make up its people and culture.

Every summer, the color of my skin gets darker-
The evidence of my Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and Arab roots.
Whenever I think of that place, I remember devouring a yellow-red freshly picked mango,
Plump and cold with the juice dripping down to my elbow.

I remember hopping over the papaya and banana leaves scattered in my mother's old backyard,
I remember those sweet, familiar scents of summer sun mixing with tropical heat.
On long hot summer nights, I look up to the skies and close my eyes
And dream of this one small island.

A beautiful place it is, it is the island of Boracay,
At the northwestern tip of Panay,
A butterfly shaped isle filled with palm trees, white powder fine sands and turquoise waters.
The waves overlapping each other, swaying back and forth,
Lulling me back to my native tongue.

But my daydreams of that place
Always takes me back here
Where I live
Where I belong
Where I've become...

A freedom lover
With a powerful voice,
Standing tall with independence.

This is no dream,
For every summer around the Fourth of July,
I celebrate myself
As uniquely American.

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