Written by Alma Mark-Fong

Edited by Emerald Liu

Mama I feel like I still have some growing up to do
Before I’m ready
There’s a lot I wanna do and see before I settle down
And become the woman you imagined
It’s scary because I can’t see how things will pan out
And I sometimes forget that I’m doing it all for you
Or maybe it’s you who forgets
That there is a debt to be paid
For the golden years you’ve thrown away for me
And I know it seems selfish
Is it selfish?

I want to give you the world
I swear I’ll do it one day
God knows you deserve it
You’ve earned it
Is it wrong to want it for me too?
I just want to live my life meaningfully
So you can finally sweep the floors of that big house you wanted
And smell something other than soot and car exhaust everytime you crack open a window
And maybe I’ll enjoy it along the way too
Even just a little
And even though the world is changing around me
And my childhood friends are growing up
I feel stagnant somehow
I’ll be ready one day mama I swear I’ll be ready
I just need a little more time

I know it’s not the way you understand the world
That made you grow up too fast
I know
Too fast to know who you wanted to be
Or what you wanted to do
But just this once
Can you trust me?
I’ll make it Mama I promise I’ll make it this time

Where I grew up, children grew tall and unruly like wild weeds
Big fish in little ponds with too much smog and not enough sunlight
Futures none too bright weighing down the tender palms of the innocent youth
I promised to make it out of our dirty neighborhood and leave the traces of our past behind
I’m still gonna do it Mama, I know I can

Illustration by Angie Orbeta
Instagram: @qngelie

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