Where I’m From
By Alice Kresberg
I was adopted from Seoul, South Korea at a very young age. As an international adoptee, I’ve found it hard to connect with my birth culture.
Bustling streets surrounded by neon lights, A foreign language which is music to my ears, Harsh and soft sounds mixed together, coming fluently from people’s mouths as they dodge others and make their way down the streets. Stand owners calling out to you with friendly shouts, Socks sold for only fifty cents each, A slight fishy smell mixed with spiciness lingers in the air. The stares and whispers, The awkward moment of silence not knowing which language to speak, The shame I feel when I can’t understand something that’s said to me. A place I’ve been to two times—both very different experiences, Once a carefree, unattached girl seeing Korea for the first time, Another time, an insecure girl desperate to get closer to her culture. A place I wish to explore, A place I wish I could have another life to have grown up in, A place which makes me cry, A place I can barely call home, Seoul, South Korea.
I was inspired to write this poem because I wanted to share my experience as an international adoptee visiting my birth country for the first and second times. I had very different experiences the two times I went. I wanted to share how it felt to be there as an adoptee. During the process of writing this poem, I ended up writing a few drafts which got longer and more detailed as I added on to the original.
Alice Kresberg is a senior at a high school in Manhattan, NY. She transferred in her sophomore year from a high school in Brooklyn, NY. She enjoys writing, crocheting, sewing, listening to music, baking and sleeping and she loves collecting miniature things. She has two cats, Charlie and Lola, who she enjoys spending time with.