Recorded on April 18, 2017, as part of the series Writing from the Absence: Voices of Hmong American Poets, published on www.poets.org Andre Yang

About this poet

May Yang is a first-generation Hmong-American artist, writer, and ethnographer from California. Writing under the persona HAUNTIE, she is the author of To Whitey and the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017), which was selected by Evie Shockley for the 2016 Robert Dana Prize in Poetry. 

21 November 2004

 

my words are impoverished,
i don’t make cents here

a mouth that has no reason,
has no season

how sad it is that life is bent,
on how well you spoke

 

a bull’s thistle and a fox’s tail
 

You had taken your leave when the white man asked You to
You had taken your stance when the white man threatened You to
 

johnson’s grass and a lady’s thumb

 

and when their life tipped,
at the end of your rifle

they forgot their words—gook
they forgot their hate—freed

 

in a morning glory among witch’s grass

the heavens from above see all, she says


 

21 November 2004

Copyright © 2017 by May Yang. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2017 by May Yang. Used with permission of the author.