He Is...


              He Is... culture stories
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unrequitable
unrequitableWe've all been drunk on emotions, right?
Autoplay OFF  •  2 months ago
My own story, my hardships, me. A personal story that I shared with youth during an education conference promoting Hmong Awareness and higher education

He Is...

Born on August 29th

Born on August 29th A small, small room

Born on August 29th A small, small room And a big, big problem

Born on August 29th A small, small room And a big, big problem The doctor said he wasn't going to make it

A mother's tear hits the floor

A mother's tear hits the floor A father's face restrained by awe

As the baby continues to bleed

As the baby continues to bleed It cries, echoing in the small, small room

As the baby continues to bleed It cries, echoing in the small, small room Blood red, all hope seems lost

Doctors tap out

Doctors tap out Nurses give in

Doctors tap out Nurses give in The couple lose hope

"The best would be to say your goodbyes"

"The best would be to say your goodbyes" But like a god sent

"The best would be to say your goodbyes" But like a god sent A savior appears

He is no doctor

He is no doctor And no, he is no expert

He is no doctor And no, he is no expert But he is a shaman

He has no fancy equipment

He has no fancy equipment His tools are his words and his trusty split ox horns

He has no fancy equipment His tools are his words and his trusty split ox horns He gets quickly to work with precision and grace

He comforts the new-born and the operation begins

He comforts the new-born and the operation begins He begins to murmur words of magic and wisdom

He comforts the new-born and the operation begins He begins to murmur words of magic and wisdom Such words, no ordinary man would understand

It goes by in the blink of the eye

It goes by in the blink of the eye A few seconds later and he states that he’s finished

It goes by in the blink of the eye A few seconds later and he states that he’s finished "Check the vitals!" exclaims the doctor

As the nurses scurry and panic

As the nurses scurry and panic The machines begin to quiet down

As the nurses scurry and panic The machines begin to quiet down Tranquility subsides and seeps into the room

As the nurses scurry and panic The machines begin to quiet down Tranquility subsides and seeps into the room The baby's now calm, and mother and father too

Doctors and nurses are dazed

Doctors and nurses are dazed Mother and father are completely amazed

Doctors and nurses are dazed Mother and father are completely amazed Was it a miracle? What exactly happened? Is he a saint?

No, he was just an ordinary man

No, he was just an ordinary man He wanted no title

No, he was just an ordinary man He wanted no title His deed worth a million carats

No, he was just an ordinary man He wanted no title His deed worth a million carats But yet, he wanted zero merits

And five years later

And five years later The little boy begins to think

And five years later The little boy begins to think What if I wasn't Hmong?

And five years later The little boy begins to think What if I wasn't Hmong? What if I wasn't here today?

And five years later The little boy begins to think What if I wasn't Hmong? What if I wasn't here today? What if I was just some random, unfortunate miracle, some random mistake?

As he treads through life

As he treads through life He becomes overwhelmed with questions

As he treads through life He becomes overwhelmed with questions A confused path, filled with obstacles and deprivation

Born into the lower-class

Born into the lower-class Zero opportunities and zero benefits

Born into the lower-class Zero opportunities and zero benefits A roaring battle between himself and his academics

Raised as Hmong

Raised as Hmong Born as an American

Raised as Hmong Born as an American He couldn’t interpret society

Raised as Hmong Born as an American He couldn’t interpret society Not understanding social norms

As he showed up to his first day of class

As he showed up to his first day of class His first grade teacher was completely crass

As he showed up to his first day of class His first grade teacher was completely crass “Where are your parents?!” she exclaimed with a tone

As he showed up to his first day of class His first grade teacher was completely crass “Where are your parents?!” she exclaimed with a tone He looked around, all confused and alone

He finally realized how unfortunate he was

He finally realized how unfortunate he was He looked at the other kids, they were filled with content and pleasure

He finally realized how unfortunate he was He looked at the other kids, they were filled with content and pleasure Their parent’s with them, life seemed like an absolute treasure

His parent’s marriage strung up top on a tightrope

His parent’s marriage strung up top on a tightrope He gets his second taste of hardship and the bitter reality

His parent’s marriage strung up top on a tightrope He gets his second taste of hardship and the bitter reality A marriage so fragile, on the verge of snapping

The little boy ponders

The little boy ponders What is love and what is marriage?

Now hear me out

Now hear me out I too, think a 5 year-old should be enjoying life

Now hear me out I too, think a 5 year-old should be enjoying life He should be out having play dates with friends

But instead

But instead He sits there watching as his parents make sad and sorrowful amends

And five more years later

And five more years later He is now ten

Fluent in English

Fluent in English Proficient in Math

Fluent in English Proficient in Math Advanced in Science

He is no longer ignorant of the world and it’s ways

He is no longer ignorant of the world and it’s ways He’s lost his grandparents

He is no longer ignorant of the world and it’s ways He’s lost his grandparents He’s as wary as he is with life, as he is with death

No one to call Yawg

No one to call Yawg No one to call Pog

No one to call Yawg No one to call Pog No one to call Tais

No one to call Yawg No one to call Pog No one to call Tais He realizes this sad reality

He begins to sit idly and drift along with life

He begins to sit idly and drift along with life As time passes by, the garden out back begins to dry

He begins to sit idly and drift along with life As time passes by, the garden out back begins to dry This was the garden that he worked on so hard with his pog yawg

He begins to sit idly and drift along with life As time passes by, the garden out back begins to dry This was the garden that he worked on so hard with his pog yawg Inevitably it wilts and perishes into the ground

Although it is gone

Although it is gone He tries to stay strong

Although it is gone He tries to stay strong He finds inspiration and his self-motivation

Although it is gone He tries to stay strong He finds inspiration and his self-motivation He continues with school and stays open-minded

As life comes along he remains Hmong

As life comes along he remains Hmong Daily meals of rice and boiled chicken

As life comes along he remains Hmong Daily meals of rice and boiled chicken Herbs and pepper as a side dish for dipping

Smoked beef and smoke pork on rare occasions

Smoked beef and smoke pork on rare occasions And of course, pots of green veggies and yummy braised pork

Zoom past another five years

Zoom past another five years He is now fifteen

A sophomore in high school and role model to his siblings

A sophomore in high school and role model to his siblings He has met an abundant amount of people

A sophomore in high school and role model to his siblings He has met an abundant amount of people Some true to their words, others high with facade

He works with his parents to have a roof over his head

He works with his parents to have a roof over his head He indulges in his studies in hopes to get into college

He works with his parents to have a roof over his head He indulges in his studies in hopes to get into college He comes home to a hot meal waiting for him

Cooked by his beloved Aunt Koua

Cooked by his beloved Aunt Koua Days of bliss and memories that will never be forgotten

Cooked by his beloved Aunt Koua Days of bliss and memories that will never be forgotten He would always converse with his aunt

Cooked by his beloved Aunt Koua Days of bliss and memories that will never be forgotten He would always converse with his aunt Sharing his experiences at school and at work

She was a god sent mentor

She was a god sent mentor A once in a lifetime adviser

She was a god sent mentor A once in a lifetime adviser A second mother and such a good, good friend

However, she becomes diagnosed with cancer

However, she becomes diagnosed with cancer Days on end at the hospital, acting as her translator

However, she becomes diagnosed with cancer Days on end at the hospital, acting as her translator He sits there, by her side, watching her spirit slowly slipping by

Just barely the young age of forty five

Just barely the young age of forty five Angels swept her away in the blink of an eye

Her last words were so simple, but also so loving

Her last words were so simple, but also so loving She treated him like a son, she had no kids of her own

Her last words were so simple, but also so loving She treated him like a son, she had no kids of her own She was never married, but still so full of life and joy

A two-day service, we mourned her passing

A two-day service, we mourned her passing He carried her casket with fellow brothers to the site

A two-day service, we mourned her passing He carried her casket with fellow brothers to the site We laid her down to rest for all of eternity

Days later, he returned from regular hours of work and of school

Days later, he returned from regular hours of work and of school A house so empty, so cold and so quiet

Days later, he returned from regular hours of work and of school A house so empty, so cold and so quiet A bare table with no hot meal to be found

He sits there in regret

He sits there in regret Wanting to talk and to see her

He remembers their plans to go out and see the world

He remembers their plans to go out and see the world He remembers their promise that she would meet her nieces and nephews

He remembers their plans to go out and see the world He remembers their promise that she would meet her nieces and nephews He remembers their promise to be there during his graduation

He remembers their plans to go out and see the world He remembers their promise that she would meet her nieces and nephews He remembers their promise to be there during his graduation All long gone, wishes unfulfilled

However, he is not led astray

However, he is not led astray He stays strong and carries on

However, he is not led astray He stays strong and carries on He knows that she would rather he sulk in joy than in sorrow

However, he is not led astray He stays strong and carries on He knows that she would rather he sulk in joy than in sorrow So, he continues onwards and looks forwards towards his goals

Now only three more years later

Now only three more years later He is eighteen

He is stronger

He is stronger He is smarter

He is stronger He is smarter He is wiser

He looked at his past experiences as growing pains

He looked at his past experiences as growing pains Some temporary, some longer than others, but never ever indefinite

He looked at his past experiences as growing pains Some temporary, some longer than others, but never ever indefinite Roadblocks that were meant to be hurdled over

He pursues his future with success in mind

He pursues his future with success in mind He attempts to find himself and and his passion

He pursues his future with success in mind He attempts to find himself and and his passion He’s now in college with his eyes set on gold and glory

And better yet

And better yet He is Hmong

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