Pop Quiz
by Jianqing Zheng

Reading his daughter's
history textbook, Wang asks

Lin-lin, why did people from Europe
come to the English colonies?

Lin-lin's answer sounds like a tape,
French Protestants came
in search of religious freedom,
Germans came to escape
the war and unrest at home,
Scotch-Irish traveled to America
because they faced starvation
in Northern Ireland.

After blurting out her answer,
she asks Wang with a cunning smile,
Dad, why did you come to America?

Wang, hesitant a second,
stutters his answer,

I came because I wanted to know
who I really was. You see,
your dad has been an iceman,
garbageman, dishwasher,
food server, yard worker,
and berry-picker. Lin-lin,
my hands are coarse, but
they're holding a dream.


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