All posts filed under: Immigration

From The Streets Below

I’m hit by a wave of irony Walking the streets of Columbia Heights, D.C. There sits a President and administration, Not more than a 15 minute drive from here, Doing everything in their power To target immigrants When the landscape of their own backyard Blossoms, sustained by the life force Of those they deem to persecute. Breathing in deep, I’m hit by the aroma of sizzling Mexican dishes, Burgers no more. My ears perk up By the clicking and popping Of tall benign Africans Shooting the breeze in their native tongue, No longer common The smooth canter Of that oh so American Way of speaking. I steer clear off the path Of young Hispanics on bikes Rushing to get the day’s Paper chasing done. I breathe deep with them, Catching the fresh scent, Of that American pie, The young and the old immigrants, Waiting patiently around the table, To carve out our fair share Of the American dream. ~~ In the poet’s own words:

The Potomac is not the Mekong

The Potomac is not the Mekong. If I close my eyes, I don’t see eagles on the hunt Soaring over a river The color of muted grey clouds. I see fishermen below, Their bamboo rafts floating On a sunset’s golden reflection, The river shining and flowing Between me and Nong Khai. I smell not Wet pavement And overpriced steak But the aromatic pungent smell Of padaek glazed grilled duck Sold for 15,000 kip. If I cover my ears I don’t hear the deafening rush Of trafficked destined cars On Woodrow Wilson Bridge But the harmonic chanting Of Wat Sop’s saffron monks. I hear the sputtering motorbikes Of young lovers Riding through empty roads, Leaving echoes of laughter And clouds of dust In their wake At dusk. The Potomac is not the Mekong Just another chapter, Some river, In a once empty book. ~~ In A.Ou’s own voice: