An excerpt from

Musings: An Anthology of Greek-Canadian Literature
by Edited by Tess Fragoulis and Steven Heighton

An excerpt from the poem "Family Tree" by Helen Stathopulos

Daughters of immigrants, we
weren't taught to think big.
We were taught instead to do
many little things in order. Methodical
fathers said, don't spend money
you don't have. Sacrifice to pay off
a mortgage. Get a house, a husband, a yard
for the children. We were taught early,
eyes on the goal, taught to follow,
never to stray.

Our mothers came to this country
with nothing, one torn suitcase only.
Now they all have bungalows or more.
Tend, they say, your home, your garden.
Shun the wilderness of dreams, the gleam
of fools' ambitions, staggering risks
no girl should take.

We do things in small steps, gain small
satisfactions. We keep our doubts to ourselves.
Our poetry is prosaic. Daughters
of immigrants, we are trying
to take the danger out.