A Child Of the Melting Pot | Teen Ink

A Child Of the Melting Pot

April 1, 2013
By jmitchbb SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
jmitchbb SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 25 comments

I am a child of the melting pot
Throw in some okroshka
And cabbage soup
With a whole lot of cattle
And a slice of Montana sky
Mix it all up
And let it sit
For several generations
Then ladle it into bowls
In the Bronx
And in Albuquerque
And in Chicago

But don’t offer the soup
To my Great Uncle
Because it doesn’t speak Yiddish
Or Russian
Don’t offer it to him
Because it will never know what it is like to fear for it’s life
Just because it is Jewish
It will never fear pogroms
And it will never refuse to turn on the lights
On a Saturday

Don’t offer the soup to my late, great-grandma
Because it won’t ever brand cattle
Or herd them
Or build fences
Or know what it was like
To have to see it’s husband go
Because he was one of the only dentists
In Montana
North and South Dakota

Don’t offer the soup to my grandma
Because she is gone
And even if she wasn’t
It would go down funny
Because the soup would be a little too sweet
And naive
To settle next to her blackened lungs
And broken heart

To these people
The soup is just a little to
English speaking
City dwelling
To go down easy

So they watch the soup boil
and simmer
And smell it
Stirring occasionally
So that it doesn’t burn
Each dropping in a bit more
Or cattle
Or okroshka
Or cabbage
When the others
backs are turned

The author's comments:
This is inspired by some of my family history.

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This article has 9 comments.

on May. 20 2013 at 8:38 pm
Metalhead08 GOLD, Port Republic, Maryland
15 articles 0 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'd rather hate you for everything you are. Than ever love you for something you are not. " FFDP "You're born alone and you die alone" FFDP "I wonder out where you can't see, inside my shell I wait and bleed." Slipknot " If youre 555 then I am 666"

Great analogy to using outside historical references! The word choices in this poem are very well done. It defiantly has a great flow and easy to read! Well done!

on May. 11 2013 at 12:58 pm
ChocolateLove SILVER, Warsaw, Other
5 articles 6 photos 158 comments
I loved it. It is a little dark but really deep. Write on. :) 

migwam ELITE said...
on Apr. 22 2013 at 2:54 pm
migwam ELITE, Tumwater, Washington
240 articles 20 photos 151 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present." --Marcus Aurelius

This is great. It captures the spirit of an individual growing up in a diverse American family, trying to make your own identity while still trying to keep some of your history for your own. Our pasts are very complicated, and the people who make them, even more so. Your poem is beautiful and heartfelt, carrying a little of both your new, melting-pot spirit and the old ways of the old-timers who made it that way. Awesome :)

on Apr. 15 2013 at 8:43 pm
Helena_Noel BRONZE, Burnt Hills, New York
1 article 0 photos 629 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way: The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear, fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear.” -Edgar Guest

I agree. The analogies are beautiful. This ia a good example of free verse and I just delighted in reading it and puzzling it. I was conplaining to a pal that my list of favorites on TI had been unexplainably emptied and so I couldnt show her a free verse I'd liked, looks like this may be the start of a new list ;)

on Apr. 10 2013 at 4:13 pm
paleteenager PLATINUM, Fountain Hills, Arizona
39 articles 0 photos 38 comments
This is so great, I love it. I love how you made the analogy of a literal melting pot to describe your family history as that is often a term that is used but never thought of in the way that you put it. 

on Apr. 9 2013 at 4:46 pm
laurengerhard SILVER, South Windsor, Connecticut
8 articles 0 photos 124 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I am gone quite mad with the knowledge of accepting the overwhelming number of things I can never know, places I can never go, and people I can never be." -Sylvia Plath

Your writing style is so beautiful.

Mckay ELITE said...
on Apr. 9 2013 at 1:56 pm
Mckay ELITE, Somewhere, Virginia
146 articles 0 photos 2230 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."
—Apple’s “Think Different” commercial, 1997
“Crazy people are considered mad by the rest of the society only because their intelligence isn't understood.”
― Weihui Zhou

I can relate to the whole diversity thing here. I like your similes and metaphors. And the words you chose give this poem a playful feeling which makes it therefore fun to read. 

on Apr. 8 2013 at 8:34 pm
jmitchbb SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
8 articles 0 photos 25 comments
Thanks so much!

on Apr. 8 2013 at 8:24 pm
LexusMarie PLATINUM, Las Cruces, New Mexico
27 articles 0 photos 423 comments

Favorite Quote:
The more control you have over yourself, the less control others have over you.

I love this.. great, great job. Word choices in here are amazing. I love how it flows, it sounds really nice read out loud. I love the comparison of soup and yourself. The first stanza is wonderful.