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Throwback Thursday: The day I felt America's pain

Khinaphanh Phaengdara's Laos 2005

This poem was published on the anniversary of 9/11 four years ago on my old personal blog, The Yellow Brick Road. I revisit and reflect.

In my teen years, I was always a reserved and quiet girl at Armstrong Senior High School, a predominately White school in Plymouth. The town would be rated the best place to live in Minnesota by Money magazine in 2008.

“One more year and I’ll graduate!”, I thought to myself. I was in pottery class, in the middle of sanding my coffee mug I made. It was meant for dad. We were told to watch the TV screen. As Tom Brokaw’s voice came on, I turned away. The mug fell out of my hands. It broke into exactly three pieces.

Pottery class
Intercom speaks
“Teachers, please turn on your TVs”
Watching, listening
17 years old
America’s challenge
10 years later
America’s remembrance
Obama in
Osama out
Arab Spring
Humanity yearns
Healing from yesterday
Hoping for tomorrow


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