Monday, December 15, 2008


Some Sour Grapes

Sometimes it’s hard to be Vietnamese,
Her name is Thi Phan,
But sometimes,
It’s Thi Pham

When you’re Vietnamese, certain things are expected.
You must get good grades,
You must be yellow-skinned,
Your name must be mispronounced by strangers,
You must love pho,
You must love Paris by Night,
And you must be a complete pack-rat.

Thi Phan is unlike most Vietnamese girls,
She does not get very good grades,
She is not yellow skinned,
And Thi does not love pho.

She is, however,
A lover of Paris by Night,
A pack-rat,
And her name has been mispronounced by multiple strangers.

It annoys her immensely,
Her family’s high expectations,
They’re always let down.
Her coffee-colored skin,
It’s more Filipino than Vietnamese.
Her dislike of Pho,
“What will you eat when I make Pho for dinner?”

Sometimes, Thi wishes to be something else,
Korean or Japanese,
Not plain old Vietnamese.

Sometimes, she wishes for singers that sounded good,
Some that are good-looking too.
Some Manga that was in Vietnamese,
Some Vietnamese Pop-culture.
Something that the nationality is known for
Something other than Pho.