ABC (American Born Chinese)

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 23:05 -- SH2812

ABCs

 

I remember when I first learned my ABCs.

A stands for apple

B stands for bird

C stands for cat

But further experience taught me

ABC means

American

Born

Chinese

 

A is for adjectives

Words that describe nouns,

Words that create categories.

Categories that are used to divide and separate.

 

B is for Bruce Lee

A character people most associate with me

Asking

“do you do karate?”

Because when he used karate to chop down stereotypes,

He also built them up like the Great Wall of China.

 

C is for chopsticks

A utensil that keeps my culture together

But in order to pick something up,

You need to separate the two.

 

D is for dog

Because every time I see one,

I just can't help desire to eat it.

Because your stereotypes

Hold me down like an anchor to a ship

 

E is for eyes because

Eyes are the windows to the soul,

but when I was born into this world,

it was just too beautiful for me,

so I squinted my eyes in order to take a better look.

 

F is for face

When facing the reality

that some people glance and instead of taking in my personality,

they walk away seeming to already know who I am.

 

G is for gook,

I heard this first when I was 9

The word hit me like a bomb,

like bombs that tore apart Vietnam

Now I ask,

What the heck is this?

What does this mean?

You don’t have the right to insult me, my family, and my people!

 

H is for Harry Potter

Cause it was the talk of the town a few years ago,

So my friends and I took a test to see what house we were in.

I was Ravenclaw.

Just like Cho-Chang.

Coincidence? I think not!

 

I is for ignorance,

As it is is defined by the lack of information,

but it’s okay,

my goal is turn that ignorance into integrity.

 

J is Jeremy Lin,

And Yo-Yo Ma, Michelle Kwan, and Maya Lin

Because these people widen my path

and just because I  look “different”,

doesn't mean certain traits have to stick to me like rice.

 

K is for Kung fu

Because  apparently,

some people cannot tell the difference between things

that come from China,

and things that come from Japan.

 

L is for language

Because people ask me, “ Do you speak English?

And in case you haven’t noticed,

I do.

In fact when it comes to language,

I speak two.

How ‘bout you?

 

M is for Mandarin

My grandparents only speak Chinese,

in order to communicate with them, to connect with them

I must to learn this language.

 

N is for nationality

It is something no one chooses.

So every time you mistake me

It takes away my individuality.

 

O is for opposite

Because when I was young, I was told that

Opposites attract.

But I have no one to attract to, I’m always in the middle,

As if I were a shadow that always behind a person,

Something no one notices until you

Stop

Then stare

 

P is for piano,

an instrument I play,

but I wonder why it was created to be white and black,

When so many Asians play it...

Shouldn't it be yellow and black?

                                                                                                                                                        

Q is for questions

like "Where are you from?" or "Where were you born?"

As if I had a sticker on my back that said “Made in China.”

 

R is for race,

Because you can only see race

So, if you're blind, you can’t see race right?

Wrong.

 

S is for sidelines,

As we are always on the sidelines,

never noticed

until we raise our fisted hands only to be invisible yet again.

 

T is for typical

As  in “Typical Asian.” I hear someone say.

So every action I make goes with or against my  “way”.

 

U is for understanding

Because I want people to understand

More than just the color of my skin,

But instead

That you should look within.    

 

V is for violence

As violence is not the answer

But how can I do that when

Concepts are like fire,

Burning around me.

Phrases are like stones thrown at my face,

And words are like daggers slashed towards my heart,

 

W is for warm

For the warm love from parents and friends

But then something balances out with my pride.

A heavy stone is taped on my back.

 

X is for xenophobia

Because some people put tags on me

“Where are you from?”

China?

Japan?

Korea?

But they never say America.

 

Y is for you

Because only you can make a difference

while you have to think outside of the box

Because when I try,

I don’t have the right materials

In order to get out.

 

Z is for zealous

Because zealous is what I’ll be,

When this will go down in history,

Just like the old faithful yin and yang

Bringing peace and prosperity

 

Now,

To me,

A stands for apple

B stands for bird    

And C stands for cat

So next time you see someone like me,

All you have to do is look back at your

A

B

Cs.

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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