Tag Archives: year of the ox

POETRY: Ode to Everyone At the Table

by Jenne Hsien Patrick

Ode to Everyone at the Table

When Mama cooks dinner she makes one dish

per person plus one or two; we patiently wait,

tightly packed, seated round the table made long

with two extensions that are never put away. My thighs brush

against 阿姨 on one side and my sister on the other,

at the long plastic wrapped table you can’t see the top of,

every inch is covered in plates of food. In front of me

is a mountain of rice in a bowl and a whole fish in broth,

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Year of the Ox

by Jiéyì 杰意 Ludden

新年快乐 Xīnnián kuàilè!

I was born in 1991 on the first day of Lunar New Year in Nagoya, Japan to a Chinese mother and a white American father. My brother, my dad, and I moved to the States when I was 5 and my mom followed a couple years later. Throughout elementary school, we would go back to China to stay with my mom’s family every other summer. We’d spend the whole school break there, almost three months at a time, and come back just in time for school to start in the fall. One year in early elementary school, we landed on the first official day of school, so I started school a day late. The, at the time, 14-hour time difference meant that I was so sleepy that first day back that I fell asleep during class. I’m grateful that my teacher was understanding.

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