Heritage | Teen Ink


November 20, 2018
By angelamak417 BRONZE, Cerritos, California
angelamak417 BRONZE, Cerritos, California
4 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain." --Vivian Greene

My Chinese

is more than just red-and-gold envelopes,

pale dumplings in porcelain dishes,

Or the lanterns above our doorstep ushering in good fortune,

Billowing gently in the wind like calla lilies carrying sweet incense.

It is a delicate dream embroidered into soft silk,

a moral code carved on cold, glistening jade,

an upbringing strict yet forged in ambition:

Build yourself up from the strength of knowledge

And no one can take you down.

It’s what has convinced a diffident little girl,

Always keeping her head down and voice a hushed whisper

That her true form is an astrological dragon

Full of fire and brimstone

With wings strong enough to soar above the sky.

It’s the ghost of a past

That gets lodged in my throat

everytime I grasp for words in that lost language,

shadows of willowy characters

tugging at my mind.

My Chinese may bide its days

Hidden just beneath the soil,

But it’s also the roots

that hold me up with its firm, unwavering grasp,

the foundation of my identity.

The author's comments:

As a Chinese-American, sometimes, it can sometimes feel like being caught between two worlds. But in the end, heritage is something so valuable that you can never let go of.

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