The theme for this year’s Humanities Symposium is “Home,” and here at the Center for Public Humanities, we have been critically thinking about what home means, both for communities and individuals. Throughout that week (February 19-26), numerous people shared about this topic from many perspectives, and now Messiah College student Marina Moreira tells her story of home through an “I Am From” poem.
I Am From
I am from restless nights filled with sirens and bright lights
From bodegas on every street corner and ninety-nine cent stores in between.
I am from hour-long subway rides to school, filled with delays.
I am from the smells of curry, empanadas, halal food, and Chinese take-out.
Tall buildings that block the sun from my face in a quest to reach the sky.
I’m from the homemade bread on Christmas and crooked smiles from mom and dad.
I’m from family dinners at our cousins’ house and praying before every meal
and from long eight-hour car rides upstate.
I’m from “don’t come home too late” and “get home safe”
I’m from camping in the living room with my brother.
I’m from Queens and Brazil and “arroz com feijoada”.
From going to the park with my grandma and hearing stories about her childhood,
from family portraits on the walls that remind me of a side of our family I have yet to know.
Marina Moreira is from Queens, New York. She is a sophomore English major with a Literature concentration and a TESOL minor. She is Vice President of La Alianza Latina, a multicultural club that encourages discussion on Latino/Hispanic experiences.
Above image by Oleg Zaytsev, used with permission under a Creative Commons License.