what immigrants learn from their children’s favourite movies

By Sofi Fuatino

“you deliberately disobeyed me”—

i think no one remembers this line as well as me
i’ve watched the lion king countless times,
literally know every single line off by
heart

my mother knows this singular line better
she lives it every time her voice booms
just like the king of the pridelands

i want to laugh
instead i weep

but it’s funny, isn’t it?
mufasa’s weighty disappointment blends
into her subconscious reach to pull me into
reason

it’s so much worse when she says it
the stern set of her shame transforms me suddenly
i am such a tiny lion cub struggling to be noble

—“i was only trying to be brave, like you”

i never say it back, but that’s all i’ve
ever wanted

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