All posts tagged: poem

Missoula, 1976

By: Bryan Thao Worra At 3 years old in Montana, I became a citizen on Flag Day During the American bicentennial. That and a cup of coffee gets you A cup of coffee even if you write A thousand poems for a million elephants. I didn’t stay there, of course, But in that city I met my first ghosts And dinosaurs, gorgons and ancient gods. I played with a young girl named Dulcinea, Discovered the family pigs eaten by a bear, And saw my first neighbor die, Crushed beneath a fallen telephone pole. I wish I remembered his name. Our family dog Dutch, in his tragic jealousy, Tried to kill me a few times. I still have one scar from it after 40 years. But I miss him anyway, Because that’s the way refugee memory works. Author’s Note: Based on a true story. This week, June 14th is Flag Day, which celebrates the adoption of the US flag in 1777 by the resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Congress first established it in August, 1946, …

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 …