bras and egg rolls

Adding to what Sudy wrote, because she says it all too perfectly: “It was not so much that I was different, it was more the fact that everyone assumed that I was just like them.”

At first I was ashamed of you—you weren’t white enough.
You didn’t follow their customs, instead you seemed to make up your own
Sleepovers with friends weren’t allowed, no no
but a biannual feeding of the teachers was tradition
Egg rolls, bulgogi, rice, even a lunch party at my house one year
(maybe that’s why they gave me good grades? I mean, damn, egg rolls aren’t even Corean!)
When I needed a bra, you refused and instead of taking me shopping like other mothers did, you talked about how you were a shy school girl who ran away when she saw boys on the other side of the street
Maybe I wanted to be a shy school girl too! But you were letting my chest overflow, how could I?
That’s when I knew you were a person who would argue that problems don’t exist
But that problem was growing and being female
and being disabled
And Corean
And confusingly white
All at the same time


Filed under writing/poetry

7 responses to “bras and egg rolls

  1. i totally feel this: “confusingly white.” this has been on my mind so much lately, especially since living back in my hometown the past few months and spending more time with my white family…it’s so hard to explain! ❤

  2. I try my best
    to be just like I am
    but everybody wants you
    to be just like them (Bob Dylan)

    Don’t worry, it didn’t work for him either.

    I’m so glad you both came out all confusing and interesting, to teach the rest of us. Ordinary people are just so boring. I’ve seen so MANY of them now, at my age, I often just wish they would GO AWAY.

    Please don’t dominate the rap, Jack
    If you got nothing new to say (Jerry Garcia)

    Sorry, in a musical mood this morning… and extremely grateful for the interesting, different people who bring the world alive in all of its diversity.


  3. Thank you for sharing that. I had to listen to some parents talking about their children and how they are so fearful for them. Let people live and grow!

  4. Liz

    Nothing confused about you. You’re one of the most self-possessed people out there! 🙂

  5. MHMmmm,

    This one is delicious. I love the dialogue between you and your mother.


  6. I love your tone in this poem a lot. Yay for writing

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