this is for mẹ

The first time I read On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous, I got off the bus three stops early and cried outside of a 7-Eleven. So, when Ocean Vuong came to Seattle for a collaborative event hosted by the Seattle Public Library and The Elliott Bay Book Company, I knew I had to attend.
I was only a child when the war began / Just six years old when they came for a “meeting” / I saw Ma tremble as Ba ran to hide / He squeezed behind the armoire, “Hush, my child” / The space was so narrow, “Don’t say a word” / Something was wrong, I’d never seen him there before
There is a lot of conversation around inherited trauma. They are so very real. We’ve lived with them and through them. But I wanted to also cradle our inherited strength in our other hands, holding them side by side as a reminder that we are given this very strength that will walk us through the trauma.
I try out the words in context, the way she used to—or at least the way I remember she used to. Family must Hy Sinh for each other. Mother has experienced so much Khó Khăn. You must Chịu Khó in order to be successful. […]
In this excerpt of digital magazine, this is for mẹ, Danny Thien Le revels and reflects in the power of one word to heal, create home, kindle nostalgia and transcend time… Do you remember / the first time you / taught me your name / … / Was I finally a refuge / for the refugee […]
In this excerpt of digital magazine, this is for mẹ, Truc Ho shares a letter to their mother, infused with memories of living, longing, and loving. It is a letter to their first home, their mother.