Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer. Our current guest editor is Hedy Tripp.

Hedy Tripp is this October’s guest editor. Hedy was born and educated in Singapore. A Saint Cloud elder with the Minnesota Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) and retired professor/lecturer, she came to her identity as a poet late in life, she says, “Because I never had time, earlier, to say, ‘I am a poet.’” For the past year, a Central Minnesota Arts Board (CMAB) Artist Career Development grant has allowed Hedy to intentionally immerse herself in what it IS to be a poet, to understand what lyrical poetry is, and to create Black-Indigenous-People-Of-Color (BIPOC) poetry by studying with BIPOC poets, especially Southeast Asian poets. Read more about Hedy and her work as a poet here.

Lyricality guest editor Hedy Tripp presents Lifting a rose gold sun by Denise Hanh Huynh.

Hedy Tripp says this about Denise Hanh Huynh:

This poem was originally published by Diacritics with a stunning picture of the rising sun.  Denise’s powerful poem challenges the misogyny and institutional racism that is at the underbelly of the brutal massacre of the Asian women in Atlanta, GA on March 21, 2021.  She has passionately performed this poem during my presentations Women of the SEA and Herstories: Asian women in America through a grant from CMAB with funding provided by the McKnight Foundation.

***Content warning: Sexual violence, language***

This poem memorializes the massacre in Atlanta, Georgia on March 21, 2021.

Lifting a rose gold sun
by Denise Hanh Huynh

Imagine us alive—
cherished and unraped. At least once
in your life, feel our blood

a gift intact. Raven
waved hair golden eyes unafraid.
What PornHub videos

did you watch to get us
here? Which Asian woman do you
blame for your choices now?

We’ve got better things to do than fuck you.

Fuck you. Imagine that
not fucking with your ego. You
your gun and your callow

end. You and your bad day
only murder will fix. We will
live to tell the full truth:

You’re a failed grandchild.
Limp. Smaller than our sacred gold
women you’ve gunned down here

this Georgia day. No shrine could heal your hand.

You’re but a symptom.
A vile lesson we won’t
allow our states to learn. No—

imagine we call our spirits
back with fire. We offer
fresh warm soy milk and straw

berry cake. We press warm
temples to the earth. After years
lifting a rose gold sun

we drive our beloved grandmothers home.


Denise’s bio:
Denise Hanh Huynh is a poet, educator, and researcher. Her poetry has appeared with publications such as diaCRITICS, Coffee House Press, and Public Art Saint Paul. Denise is currently a PhD Candidate in Education with a focus in arts, culture and teaching.