Okay, so I just wrote this in like 34 minutes (hard to do for a perfectionista) because I wanted to post something amidst all my schoolwork and work-work and then enjoy my lunch, but I really was going for a story to tell. Basically, we, as Lao people have been dispersed, displaced, and disenchanted in many ways. I know that I still don’t feel like I know who I am or what my roots are. Why? Because I feel like there’s something bigger that I’m capable of doing and I’m not doing it. And I feel like there’s a story that’s not being told to me.
Anyway, so the poem, as each line is written in eight syllables, is basically describing the feelings of longing to travel to Laos, leaving cold Minnesota in winter (sorry about the rhyming; I was studying Spanish poetry in graduate school). I was thinking of my dad, flying by himself in search of someone. We are always searching for someone. I think that because of displacement we are always looking for lost ones, even if they are no longer here on earth. For me, going to Laos will not only be a way of finding out who I am, but will also free that little chirping bird that’s locked inside my rib cage. I’m thirsty to know what Laos is like, and to see recognizable, yet unfamiliar faces. I’m thinking within the time of one more Minnesota winter.
Long Lost Laos
High among cotton clouds he flies.
Slouching, cramped, and semi-reclined,
Staring into endless blue skies.
Tired legs throb with aching spine.
He goes solely in search of her.
Breathing in burning sun, sweat, heat
He forgets the chills of winter.
No cold, damp feelings of defeat.
When the sun burns days cold like ice,
Hidden under a hanging cloud,
Winter rolls out my chance to dice,
To be free; spirit, high and proud.
In search of eyes like mine to meet,
Tears flow salty-sweet and bitter;
Warmed, a frozen heart thaws to beat
In song to declare, “I’ve found her.”