So, I wrote this poem after I met an exchange student from Europe. He had a great grip on American culture, and English, and all that, but he was eighteen, on a different continent. All my feminine, motherly instincts made me want to tuck him up and comfort him and give him chocolate, and let him let it all out. I probably made him out to be a lot weaker than he was (sorry, bud), but I just couldn’t help it.
He was older than me, but I still thought of him as a kid, because he struck me as dependent. I began thinking of all the things we had in common, and in a broader sense, what everyone had in common.
I think about him a lot, and pray for him, hoping he’s okay.
I know you’re a world traveler,
So I suppose you’re made of good caliber.
But you are a human, of blood and flesh;
A soul and feelings, and someone else.
Though you’re a world apart, a culture away,
A sea divided, and my night is your day,
You, too, are searching just as I
Am searching for answers and meaning in life.
Hey, kid, this is tough, and you’re on your own.
You’re surrounded by doubts, and nothing you’ve known.
You’re young at heart, happy, I see,
But I know an outsider’s a hard thing to be.
Adaptive chameleon, don’t speak and betray
Your differing ideas and society’s ways.
I long to reach out to you, and you’d understand —
Language is no barrier in the dialect of hands.
I want you to know I feel for you, kid.
I can only try to understand.
— Know that I did.
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Original poem by Kimba. Copyright 2017.