My Life in America by Harold Aguiar

Essay by bennysosaCollege, UndergraduateB, February 2008

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The Beginning I was born November 25, 1970 in Harlem Hospital; my then 20 year old mother Dolores named me Harold Miguel Aguiar. I was the very first person from my family to be born in America.

From the very beginning my life was difficult. My mother was staying in an overcrowded three-bedroom apartment with my biological father’s family, at the time he was still in the Dominican Republic, which is where my family is from. I was loud and my guess is that my biological dad’s family couldn’t take me crying all night long. My mother told me that I was barely one month old when she got kicked out of the apartment. It was right around Christmas that she had to stay under a stairwell with me in her arms because she hardly knew anyone in America to help her out. This story would eventually lead to me writing a poem for her:I have one wish, if you could grant it, you could be my genie.

I’m selfish ever since I was young I was greedy.

Raised needy, welfare, food stamps, face to face.

Translating for my moms, living in a foreign place.

Dreams of a better life, led her to the USA.

Only twenty, thinking she knew plenty gave birth to Benny.

First born, she elated but that didn’t last long.

We got evicted from where we lived, I cried all night long.

Even though it was cold, mama kept me warm, in her arms.

I know back then, she wished she were gone.

But she held on, hot damn lady is strong.

I owe her my soul; she’s the reason that I’m not on parole.

Or lose control; I would never want to harm her.

I would never want her to hear me say “I’m guilty...