Second Prize Fire Escape Poetry Contest 2010

I'm delighted to present the second prize winner in the Fire Escape's Eighth Annual Poetry Contest for teens between cultures, MISMATCHED SOCKS, by Lucia, born in China.

"The hardest thing about balancing two cultures is...well...dealing with the fact that they can't be balanced," says Lucia. "The scale is always tipping one way or the other as you try to satisfy both cultures' vastly different customs and beliefs. But being thrown about as the scale goes topsy turvy is also one of the most exciting things about being an immigrant. That, and the food of course."

It can feel like a roller-coaster ride, Lucia, and I certainly agree with you about the food. Enjoy her poignant poem, Fire Escape visitors.
Mismatched Socks
by Lucia, China/USA Age 16

Two socks.
Two worlds.
Estranged by an ocean,
Brought together under the same untainted sky.

I pull both socks on,
An eruption of yellow stars circling my left ankle,
A wave of white ones crashing at my right toe.
No longer garish and clashing,
But two dynamic complements,
Each augmenting the other.

I am a rope,
Not flimsy and single-stranded,
But comprised of two fibers
Intertwined tightly
In an unbreakable helix.

I am a bowl of zesty soup,
Not homogenous and bland,
But composed of a medley of exotic flavors
Intermingling in a delectable mélange.

I am a pair of mismatched socks,
Remarkably interlocked like Yin and Yang,
With differences spanning half a world,
Yet one cannot exist without the other.
Please leave comments for the poet below, and you may enjoy past poetry winners here.  For example, read the first prize entry, CITY IN THE EAST AND CITY IN THE WEST, written by Mirette, who was born in Egypt.

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Yvonne via Creative Commons.