All posts filed under: Childhood Heroes

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 Uncle, My Inspiration

We’re on a long road, navigating low hills and wet fields, when I finally hear my beloved uncle’s story. The end of the road is Luang Prabang for a business trip. With my life in Laos coming to a close and acceptance finally hitting me, my emotions decide to dance erratically between an Olympic sprint and some major marathon. Upheaval and migration does that, I guess. Three years of turbulence and injustice gush out of me, pouring out in a sloppy, slushy rant. My uncle continues to drive. He stays quiet for a time before turning to me and, with a steady look, begins to tell me about his humble beginnings. “Listen kid, you ain’t got it so bad and you’re going to realize that one day.” Those simple words coupled with that calm gaze of his settles my electric youth down, immediately. “I was born down south, the second son to a Jek (Chinese) mother and a Keo (Vietnamese) father. They were dirt poor immigrants who came here with nothing. My dad somehow got …