It’s what I eat when I’m happy
when my whole family is together
and everyone is talking at once.
It’s what I eat when I’m sad
when I can’t get my mind off
my problems at school.
It’s what my ancestors ate and
what I’ll make for my children.
It’s like the shoes I wear or the
shirt on my back, always there.
By Neesha, 5th grade
I want to crush the trash of struggle
that my people go through
for the invisible spirits of joy
to appear as happiness again.
I want to capture the moment when
the devastation of my people blows
away with the monsoon winds that
come from the north.
I want to remember how the
Vietnamese dragon once came,
bringing happiness like a rare toy
to our people.
I want to write about how the
wet rice fields were our only key
to survival and how my people will
bring peace to the world.
By Jacqueline, 5th Grade
Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Carol Lahana, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.
This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.
Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.