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  • CHONG YANG

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Cia lub ntiaj teb los ua koj lub vaj

Tus njuj neeg yog ib lub paj, xim twg los zoo

Txoj kev tsaus ntuj yuav tsis kav

Ib pliag xwb, cia nws dhau

Es lub paj mam nthuav


Translation from Hmong


Let this world be your garden

Each person a flower, lovely in every hue

Darkness descends, but not for long

It is a season, so let it pass

And the peony opens




Poem: CHONG YANG was born to Hmong farmers and artists in Luang Prabang, Laos. Her family immigrated to Saint Paul in 1980, where she lived with her mom, Bai Vang, and siblings Yeng and Koua. Chong received her master’s from the University of Minnesota College of Education and teaches high school English language arts in Saint Paul, where she lives. Chong has three wonderful daughters, Phaa-Der, Asha, and Kaia.



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