Who I Am
by Shoua Xiong from Lincoln High School
Published in the 2007-2008 WITS Anthology I Once Was Young and Strong
Who am I? I’ll try my best to tell you
I am young and intelligent.
I have my own talents and my own language.
I am different. No two people are the same. I am unique:
We come from the tall mountains of Thailand and Laos.
“Kuv yog Hmoob.” I am Hmong (Mong).
Commanded by General Vang Pao, we fought as a secret army.
Side by side we fought bravely with the Americans
against the Vietnamese Communists.
We were promised
that if the Americans won, the Hmong would win with them. If the Americans lost,
they would be responsible for the Hmong tribes. The contract was that the Hmong
would be able to rebuild their country or immigrate to the U.S. after the war and
they’d live peacefully.
Many of us died, risking our lives for the Americans.
Risking our lives to fight beside the Americans.
Suddenly, they abandoned, ignored, betrayed us.
Leaving us back to square one
Torched by the Vietnamese Communist.
The fears and tears in our eyes.
Hiding in the jungle. Waiting for help.
Thirty years later, finally, we arrived in the United States.
Not knowing a word of English, we suffered from exclusion.
Sacrificing our culture to adapt in.
I am different.
No two people are the same. I am unique:
I am HMONG.
One Page Wednesday
April 4, 2018
Writers, escape the solitude of your desk. Readers, come hear great fresh…
Everybody Reads 2018
April 5, 2018
In partnership with Multnomah County Library and The Library Foundation, Literary Arts is…
LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE: Sloane Crosley in Conversation with Chuck Klosterman
April 19, 2018
This event is free, but space is limited. Pre-order a $26 copy…
Oregon Book Awards Fiction and Poetry Finalists reading
April 25, 2018
Featuring: manuel arturo abreu Omar El Akkad Samiya Bashir Allison Cobb Wayne…
April 26, 2018
Come celebrate Portland’s creative youth during our seventh annual Verselandia! poetry slam.
Oregon Book Awards Ceremony 2018
April 30, 2018
Join Literary Arts’ annual celebration of the state’s most accomplished writers in…