All posts filed under: Iu-Mien and Khmu

Visiting Dad

Sitting in the front seat of Mom’s white 96 Civic. It’s a baking hot Folsom day. Beads of sweat smear across my forehead as I reach to readjust my hair–a matted mess from the almost two-hour-long drive I fight every urge within me to throw a fit. I’m trying not to get restless or bored–we came too far for this. On any other day I’d go through with it but today, I have chosen to preserve my energy. “Vo… Van… Villapan?” the white lady officer stutters. We all get up. Mom flashes a look at her, too weary to correct her again from the last time. “Make sure there’s nothing in your pockets,” she warns me and sis. The seat on the bus sticks to my skin. I glance up at Mom as she she quietly stares off into the distance. We rumble past towering old stone buildings One, two, three… I count the windows, squinting my eyes to see if I can catch a glimpse of anyone inside The bus screeches to a stop …

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.