June is Immigrant Heritage Month and the month that holds World Refugee Day. From the moment they land in the United States, many immigrant parents and children reverse roles. Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay’s parents did the impossible. They made sacrifices and uprooted their lives so they could cement themselves as American citizens for the future of their families. In Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay’s poem “Letter To My Unborn Self”, translating for her parents has its hardships and surprises. However, as a reader you feel like translating is a way for the writer to honor their sacrifices.
“When you’re older, you’ll understand.” It is a phrase we have all heard. As we grow older, situations from our youth begin to make sense. However, despite all the knowledge, life experience, and “adultness” you have acquired over the years, there are still those matters you may never understand like tipping, car mechanics and how many exemptions you should claim on your taxes? Read “Advice From Elders” by Maikao Xiong and you will come up with your own list of:
I still don’t understand.
There’s a Poem in This Place: Minnesota Street Market To Host an Intercultural Literary Performance on Thursday, June 23, 2022.
This event offers an opportunity for local authors to take center stage in a lit fest setting — and for people from the local area to connect with some great local authors they may never have heard of. The program features short readings and dialogue — with authors of different backgrounds to create a varied, rich experience for our community. It also will have live translation in Somali.
Read “Body Clues” by Priscilla Mayowa and you will see it is not simple for everyone to embrace their bodies. Especially when your body causes you pain, keeps you from socializing, and makes you feel different from the rest of society, appreciating your body becomes even more difficult. Take a moment to acknowledge that you’re doing the best you can and that you are perfectly OK right now. Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and don’t beat yourself up if you need to take it easy. Exercise self-love and care by listening to your body.
Nature’s beauty can be seen in a harvest and in this poem, Poblano Harvest by Níce G. Flores.
You can feel the heat and the hard work this farmer endures in the field. Next time you are at the grocery store, picking out produce, remember the hard work it took to get that poblano in your grocery cart.
Life happens and we move along or we move along and life happens. Half the happiness is being ok with what you do get. “In Conveyor Belt” by Sabrina Lor, you will never be ready for what the ride will bring to you.
Strangers are walking fiction. Our brains, on the other hand, force us to actively imagine who we see walking towards us, even if what our thoughts make up are dangerously untrue. We care about appearance; we are quietly vain, but we are also private investigators, trying to figure out what each stranger passing us by could hint at. Remember, every stranger is someone and more importantly every stranger is someone’s partner, caregiver, offspring or sibling.
Crickets have been known to be a symbol of prosperity. This five lined poem gives the reader all the hopes and feels of good luck and happiness. I don’t know about you, but when I read it I could feel the warm wind on the back of my neck. Follow the link, take a read and let this cricket connect you to being a believer in your instincts and spiritual guidance.
The second longest day of the year by Jean Prokott: a collection for people who don’t love poetry, and especially for those who do
Jean Prokott’s collection, the second longest day of the year, the winner of the Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize, carries the impact of Ann Sexton’s poems.
On days when life seems pointless and you’re just going through the motions, there’s always that empty pit someplace inside your spirit that never seems to fill. Zakiah Goff addresses this gut wrenching feeling in “I Don’t Know It Yet, But This Is Living”. We all have felt this at some point, or many points, in life: is life ever going to get better?