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This poem was imspired by Amanda Gorman. She had the same speech impediment that I had, however while I turned away from language she embraced it.

Where Are You From

Where are YOU from?
They ask, not quite understanding 
I speak this way, because I could not for so long.
I dropped the ‘r’s, skipped the ‘s’s
and sometimes more. 
I say, I am come from the U S A.
No, they reject my identity and implore
Where are you really from?
And before I can respond, 
they list the places they know and respond..
     England: No, Australia: No ….
My mind wonders, will this time be different 
and they ask what about “South Africa” 
But for you, as they wind down their list,
Do they gasp?, and say very low,
(but really it’s harsh) 
When they do, do you laugh, or laugh with rage?
But for me, they try again
What STATE are you from?
I take a deep breath, to compose
but not to be composed, 
for inside I am pleading, let me be
I pause to ensure that I say a single L
In my focus, I say an “E” and not the “I”
You are luck, instead of L.A., you can say
“I am from the city of Angles”
for you have shown us you are our ray. 
They pounce at my stumble and say,
What place bore you?
This brings me joy, now comes a word I can easily say,
I can even say it with the accent they pleaded for,
   Chi cA, GO!
Now, a small part of me 
for it is the part that is fulled with envy,
that wants you to drop the “A” when they ask,
Where do you come from?
Wishing you would say,
  I come from US.