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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

“Border Boy” by Alberto Rios is a poem about family, growth, and identity. Two main themes are present in this poem: reflection and identity. These themes can be a very powerful combination. This poem is about the writer’s childhood and how a thing he grew up with, the border between Mexico and America, signifies a lot to him. For the duration of the poem, the border represents many different things to Alberto. He reflects on its importance to him and how it impacted his life. 

Alberto starts the poem by stating how he lived near the border and grew up with it. He also makes it a point to say that even though he left his town and the border, it has been with him wherever he has gone. The poem continues to describe the border and its different names, such as frontera, the fence, or la linea. Alberto continues by saying that even though he hears the names, it’s missing a key factor: his childhood. 

Alberto compares the border to a scar: a place that held so much pain and hurt but has since healed, yet he continues to pick at it. Alberto finishes the poem by stating that the border was something that had history to him, but now it is a stranger. The entire poem is a reflection of his identity and how he views what he considers as reminders of family and comfort. The way Alberto writes about the border and his memories can be interpreted as him realizing the importance and impact it held in his life, especially when he mentions the border was with him wherever he went. It guided him through his life, not as a compass but as his conscience. The border is filled with many memories, memories that bring Alberto comfort. The border was an influence on his identity, filled with memories but also pain. This can be seen as a turning point in the poem.

These themes of identity, reflection, and comfort are seen in many different aspects of pop culture, such as movies. A specific movie titled “Instructions Not Included” is about a bachelor tasked with caring for a child who was left on his doorstep. The bachelor is not in a position to take care of a child. He goes on a journey to look for the mother of the child, where he is faced with a dangerous task to save his daughter. At that moment, he recalls memories from his childhood, specifically his father and the things his father would do to him to make him brave. It created a distance between them and caused the bachelor to hold a grudge against his father. It’s safe to say his memories caused pain, but the motivation to protect and save his daughter made him realize he cares for her and decides to raise her.

The connection between the poem and this movie is that both the narrator and main character recall childhood moments that influenced them and helped shape their identity. This also brings up their past scars. A lesson for students to better understand this poem is mainly attached to identity. The things a person grows up with can influence who they become in the future, and these pieces of media show how important it is to reflect on the things that made you, you. The good and the bad created who you became, and reflecting on it can create peace within yourself and only influence you further. 

Hi everyone! I’m Alejandra! I’m currently a third year college student at GCU and I’m a double major in Professional Writing and Marketing. I hope you enjoy my articles.