All posts filed under: Southeast Asian

Letter to My Daughter for International Womens Day

Dear Nakanya Dao, It’s van mae ying hang saht. International Women’s Day. I named you after a dragon princess because you breathed fire since being in my womb. There’s a reason why Laos celebrates its women and America shrugs it as another day. Our pain still lingers in the skies. Our freedom is still floating between the Mekong and the Mississippi. They say we’ll feel human again when we are free, but you must know the heavy stories we carry in our tong ma lai bags. These stories disintegrate between the blood-soaked pages of your school’s alternative history books. Before I felt American as a naturalized citizen, I was a Resident Alien. Holding onto a fragile green card through my teen years. Before I felt home on the prairie, I was a 2-year-old displaced refugee, in a faded pink petal dress gifted by the Filipinos at the Bataan camp. Before I felt human, I was born on the frigid floor of a crumbling Viengxai cave. Before I could feel, I was in your grandmother’s pa jia sling. Sinking …

Give to The Bryan Thao Worra Fund

Our legendary award-winning poet, writer, community trailblazer, arts & culture editor and above all else– friend, Bryan Thao Worra, is in need of our community’s help. Do you have Bryan’s back? I’m sharing one of our favorite poems to remind the world the impact of his words. . . . Read his story and donate here: https://www.youcaring.com/bryanthaoworra  . . . “Aftermaths” by Bryan Thao Worra   Sometimes, I want to tell you. Laying by your side, it’s a mystery to explain Why I gave up my poetry for so long.   It’s a mystery to explain why I told you my mother is dead, When I really don’t know what happened to her in those distant jungles.   I loved you, telling you everything I knew about myself, Only to find, as the years went on, how little I really knew.   I can’t dream of my father, his face was blown off by an Anonymous enemy rifle before a picture could be taken.   I don’t have the voice to sing songs to you, Or the stories, …