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A World I Never Had To Know

Wendy Vang

Where I am from

They call us the sky people

But my father would say

You are a Hmong daughter


I am a Hmong daughter

Created by my mother and father

Preoccupied with life lately

While I am fighting a war of my Independence

You are in a war of your memories

While my hands ache from constantly researching

You see blood splatter in the hands of your enemy

Dead mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers

While words of disrespect repeatedly puncture my soul

You were already shot in the leg

So close to death, ceasing my existence I would not see today

While i spend my riches like tomorrow does not exist

You work from dawn till dusk and still manage to put food on the table

While i am determined to learn the ways of this society

Fluently speaking a language that is not mine

You still struggle to learn the native tongue of a country that is not yours

While I write stories of how I struggle being a minority

Society ignores the stories you’ve stitched onto quilts

While I listen to stories of how America came about in history

You talk of the rich green lands in Laos

While I learn of the war in Iraq

You whisper in my ear

A genocide of the Hmong people in the jungles of Laos

Waiting, to end since 1975


A Hmong daughter I am

From the land of my mother and father

A history painted before I was born.


Inspired by a good friend: Mai Yer Vang

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