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An elder Vietnamese woman

brushes my cheeks with her fingers,

repeating in Vietnamese,

“beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.”

But I don’t know what she thinks is beautiful.

Is it me or what I represent?

The generation of opportunity.

That her generation’s journey was worth it

and the hopes of the past and left-behind

live on in my generation.

She looks through my eyes like windows

and I look into hers like mirrors.

Poem: AMANDA TRAN is not of many words. She was born in Minnesota and raised by her mom, aunties, grandma, and grandpa. Her family emigrated from Vietnam in 1975. When she told her mom that she wanted to go to college for creative writing, her mom said, “You can tell our story.”


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