Featured, Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays, Race and Racism
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A Nation on My Shoulders


Failure was never an option for me.

Every time I fail…
I am reminded that I have let my country down.

My ancestors, who worked as slaves in the sugarcane industry
on an unfamiliar island.

My grandfather, who passed before reaping the fruits of his labor
in an unfamiliar country.

My parents, who worked as immigrants to make ends meet
in an unfamiliar continent.

In failure I disappoint a community,
a country,
that rests on my shoulders.

My ancestors blood runs through my body
& this serves as a reminder
that I cannot surrender.

Image Credit: Drawing by author Neha Deo


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Neha N Deo Neha N Deo (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine


Neha Deo is a second-year medical student at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Rochester, MN class of 2023. In 2018, she graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Distinction. She enjoys working out, keeping up to date on high fashion culture, and spending time with friends. After graduating medical school, Neha would like to pursue a career in EM/dermatology and engage in philanthropy to create opportunities for Fijians like herself.