'Carry the Light' Excerpt: Western Woman/Eastern Expectations

This poem was inspired by the cultural and religious traditions that keep lovers apart. It appears in the "Carry the Light" anthology, which is comprised of poems, stories and essays from this year's San Mateo County Fair literary contest.

Editor's Note: For the first time in the history of the San Mateo County Fair, a 300-page anthology has been published that includes more than 100 stories, poems and essays from writers who submitted award-winning work for the fair's literary contest. The idea was the brainchild of Bardi Rosman Koodrin, a San Bruno resident who runs the fair's literary contest, and the anthology, titled "Carry the Light," features work from many Peninsula writers.

This poem was inspired by the writer's relationships with immigrant friends and the cultural and religious traditions that keep lovers apart.

From p. 290, “Western Woman/Eastern Expectations”

Am I conducting social suicide?
In love with a man from our “Motherland”
I’m slowly committing heart homicide
He won’t wed wild me; born on Western sand

I am smart, successful, soft and sweet
But he’s seeking the obedient wife
so sad his standards I can never meet
left looking at a long and lonely life

It is so unfair, a life without him
She’ll carry his customs, while I hold his heart
I’ll enjoy each embrace; suffocating in sin
I keep him close while they’re still miles apart

My whisper wishes, “Please don’t go away”,
“But you have never known our true culture”
Though he loves me, his heart will never stay
with the young Eastern bride waiting; so pure

What to do as my face ages in grace,
refused by own kind; based on birth-Place

Excerpted from "Carry the Light" with the permission of Sand Hill Review Press, the publisher. The book is available for purchase for $12 on Amazon.com.

Born and raised in the beautiful Bay Area, Stacy Sorrells has an eclectic style. Her creative inspiration comes from her dreams as well as moments in everyday life. She loves expressing herself through photography and digital art, but her passion is writing and she is an award-winning published author and poet. She is currently working towards her B.A. in English at Cal State East Bay and plans to go on to earn her M.F.A in creative writing. Check out more of her writing on her goodreads page.


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