Waterfire

JCWriter

United States

I'm a "pre-published" novelist with a passion for free verse and high fantasy (and occasionally being over-dramatic).

We breathe the same air

April 16, 2018

Link to performance video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=rkAln-KG1-I
***

We breathe the same air
as them, the rest of the world
but we are different
our own nation, separated
because we span the globe

We are one, but
it is because we are strangers
among "our kind," the people
we’re supposed to recognize
they cannot understand us

So often we feel alone
lost as polar bears in a rainforest
full of unfamiliar shades and shadows—
panthers and brightly plumed birds
each in their own place

We are the one piece of the jigsaw
that doesn’t seem to fit
and never has, the one piece
that lies forgotten beside
the full picture of a people—unified

We are the undefined, foreign
in every land we dare to walk
alien
forgotten even while we’re in demand
we fear the world will never understand

We are chameleons
forever changing color
to fit in
to match our surroundings
masters of camouflage

We feel our true selves slipping
amid this color-changing
forgotten in a gradient of other
we can’t be fully both at once
so we are neither

We are something in-between
rainbow chameleons
a tribe of polar bears in a rainforest
seeing new hues the most clearly
because we have known a world of alabaster snow

We breathe the same air
as them, the rest of the world
but we are different
in-between
we are TCKs
TCK, which stands for third culture kid, is a term referring anyone who spent all or part of their childhood in a country that one or both of their parents were not from. They're not exactly from their parents' culture(s), but they're not really a part of the culture they grew up in either. Instead, they live in a "third" culture—a combination of all the other cultures they're a part of.

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