All posts filed under: Iu-Mien and Khmu

To Khmu and Mien Women When The World Says You Aren’t Enough

Your body tells a story of tradition Fingerprints a map of your peoples’ past Wrinkled palms show the mountains and valleys that surrounded your great grandmother’s village Hair a waterfall down your back, pouring life like those in your mother’s land Holder of history. Hope in true form. Every mole a marking serving as reminders that you are made of generations of magic. You are sacred. You are your ancestors embodied. All parts of you passed down from predecessors Living proof that they survived. This is how your being is never ending. This is how you know you are infinite.  

My Grandmother’s Garden

My chubby, dirt-stained fingers reach into the bag of old pinto beans found at the back of my grandmother’s bottom kitchen cabinet. I drop two into each of the freshly poked holes towards the corner of the weed-riddled grass plot in our backyard. Sloppily, I scoot dirt back over them, drench the soft earth with hose water staying long enough to see it soak into the soil. “Aiyoooooooo!” Grandma shouts at me to come downstairs. Tells me to hurry up, says there’s something I need to see. “Mangc gaax naaiv!” My small bare feet smack the tacky linoleum floor as I race to her side. Under the shadow of her pink garden hat I see her beaming. She opens her hands to reveal seven strands of green beans striped purple, maroon, red She cooked them that night for dinner — first, vegetable oil in the pot then salt minced garlic thai chili and seven green beans as she bragged on the phone about my newfound, natural gardening ability Grandma’s hands always made things grow. From …