Recorded on January 18, 2017, as part of the series Writing from the Absence: Voices of Hmong American Poets.

About this poet

Soul Vang received an MFA from California State University, Fresno. He is the author of Song of the Cluster Bomblet (forthcoming from Blue Oak Press) and To Live Here (Imaginary Friend Press, 2014). A U.S. Army Veteran, Vang received the Fresno Arts Council’s Horizon Award and is an editorial member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle (HAWC).

Song of the Cluster Bomblet

I am a seed
Of the tree of knowledge.

I arrived here
In mother’s steel womb—

A snug, dark pod—
With my hundred siblings.

On impact, her womb opened
And we scattered hundreds of yards.

I am a blue ridged-winged ball,
Created to appeal

To any child’s senses
Of beauty and curiosity.

When a child finds me,
Buried among roots of berries

Or wild flowers,
And cradles me

In her warm hands,
My heart melts.

Copyright © 2017 by Soul Vang. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2017 by Soul Vang. Used with permission of the author.