Holt! Stop! Where are you going? I pleaded to the protector.

"They won't listen," a phrase that reminds me to leave well enough alone. 

As I walk out the door, a mask covers how things should be but not as it is

Separated childhood, torn by responsibility to grow up early.

Determination on grandma’s part as she hollers "wake up" keeps me quiet,

For the thought of her leaving again tares me apart.

She pushes the stroller; little sister sits tight going along, kicking her feet.

The excitement in her eyes brightly shines as they stroll around the street.

As bell rings, I stay back waiting for little bro as he wakes up from a nap

or wait until his energy is burnt out after playing on the jungle gym.  

Then he waves bye to his friends and were off walking side by side.

Were stopped by JPO's and bother says "I want to be part of that."  


"Grandma where home" I shout to announce that we have arrived safely

To grab her attention, little sister stirs on the floor waking from a nap.

She turns on her side and sits up holding her hand up ready for a embrace,

I ran to her side as bother leans right, "Ewww kudiides, get away."

"I'm hungry!" he says as he crosses the room opening the fridge.

"Me too," I echo, nudging Grandma’s shoulder as she smiles with a grin, "what do you want for almusal?"

"Musubi," we all said in unison running towards the door.    


Trying hard to be me but always feel out of place

"Why are they hard on me?" Is a question that keeps them in their place.

So, excited to prove them wrong as the bar their bar is raised

"When will they appreciate what’s there rather than looking for a new way?"

I had wished to be acknowledged for past sacrifice though only to get a "how are you." The repeated phrase, to keep the silence that's their way.


I sit up quickly when asked to do a task, no damage done so

long as you do what's asked, to protect is to sacrifice. 

So anxious to be noticed to bring back the trust before,

Though things have changed, nothing ever stays the same,

that pack of "not becoming like our parents" is my hope for change.

"I'm homeless without the determination to get back up when I fall."


But, as I continue to get older, I find that I am more than what my loved ones

perceive me to be, safeguarded for a reason to hide the hurt found within,

It's no use in explaining since their set in their ways, however, if they do listen to reason,

it's not a slap on the face but rather a bright light that opens their understanding

in hopes that they change their ways.

If I'm going to make it to my thirties, I'll be sure to make do, like what little bro says

"make the best of what lives given you."


"Don't give up" a phrase that is thrown out quickly, though easier said than done.

Tears that flow when overwhelmed, a response used when no words can be said.

It's no use thinking of "why bad things happen" rather “think of what is there to learn from the struggles life throws."   

"I've gone so far why turn back?" a thought that came to mind as a trusted sister sits across

what seems like a strained smile on her face, a frown that’s hidden as tears  held in place.


"I'm not ready to go!" my eyes locked on the man I look up to,

to give guidance and direction, hands behind his back he nods, with a stern look he asked:

"Hermana who called you?" "the same man that called you."

I wanted to respond, but instead, I stayed quiet,

knowing that what he would say would determine the next couple of hours of my life.

"As a missionary, you devote your life to serving the Lord. Every mission is different and

the time on the field does not determine how well you did as a missionary.

I think that maybe it's time that he is calling you to go back home."


"Go back home," was the phrase that hit my core, I made the choice

so far from being finished, I accepted what was and learned to let go.

Letters that my mom wrote reminded me that there was more to life.

Tossing and turning on a mattress that was cold, in a crowded place left unknown.  

Too late to turn back as the call was made, sitting on the side of the street

as gusty winds blow making leaves fall; "Do you want to fly with a companion?"

asked the sister with my head held high; "no I'll be fine,"

I responded putting my hands on my face rubbing tears away. 


With a hug from the wife I was on my way 

Like a confused kid, a sudden desire overcame my mind pushing
me to draw the line. Like a bang of lighting scaring,, a child nightmares

it shook me but as time passes healing takes it place.

"Once a missionary always a missionary" was what I was taught.

"You'll find your purpose again" was the phrase never lost.

Hold your head up and hope for the best, enduring to the end is what I know best. 


So, when things are too hard to bare, and the world around you seems bleak and unfair;

Take out a pen or pencil with a loose-leaf paper in hand and write,

for all the milestones in life, there is something to be learned,

mistakes maybe as a burden but they can be blessing too

To see the world from the perspective of others

is what poetry offers, as a writer creates their reality,

expressing their why's of not to giving up.

This poem is about: 
My family


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