made in the u.s.a.

i think i lost my father's jacket.

the beat up navy blue one,
with its threads all worn,
sleeves all stained
and zipper broken.

it was his first jacket here in america,
the cloth as old as i.

he doesn't even know i've been wearing it,
dragging it to school with me,
tying it around my waist,
wrapping it around my body.
the sleeves are too long and it's really baggy,
but it keeps me warm
and i like it.

people often compliment it.
nice jacket, they say, and my hands sit in the pockets
and my face lights up

it was his first jacket here in america, i say
eager and ready to tell them the story
our story of how we came.
oh, they say, and move on
leaving me there.

they don't get it,
i realize.
how much the jacket means
how much the jacket says.
it's more important
than any plastic green card or stamped up passport.

it's our flag.

so you see i have to find that jacket.
i must.

or people will forget
that i belong here
just like they do.