Grief is such an experience,

It’s brief, like a breeze with a soft touch, and memories replay in chronological sequence,

Or it lasts a week, diamond 3 luck, cutting meat under Hmong funeral tents,

Boiled beef, Tacoma trucks, and burned paper incense,

The spirit catches you, but when you…

Soft hands, rough hands

Strong hands till the soil,

Making room in gardens for mustard green boil,

Short handle spoons, pork belly, lemongrass, and skimming the scrum oil,

Leaf tunes, and dib kaus after the day’s toil,

Bruised hands till the soil,

Irrigating deep roots with the slow drop of…

I smile when I think about you,
You’re my new hope, my resurrection, born in correction,
That was a line from Nasir Jones,
I had a mind to write this letter in two poems,
But out of time so I settled for one poem in two tones,

By two tones…

My city is a reminder,
Of both the good and the pain,
Of both the losses and the gain,
Of both the blessings and the shame,
Of both where you've gone to and from where you came,

My city is a reminder,
Of the things we need to fix,
Of how the…

The story of my people reads like a sad poem,
A spoken word piece,
Like a smile and broken Hmong words from a small neice,
Soulful or soul food like catfish wrapped in banana leaves,
Reconcile my future and rectify my past on my Jesus piece,

Love letters recorded on…

Tong Thao

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