An Ode to Natural Migration by Louise Kim

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa

Moved around from place to place

I’m assuming I’m not welcome

Not here nor there nor anywhere

Tears springing from my eyes like youthful tulips in the early spring

Maybe even flowers spring with pain, growing pains

Happen to everyone, I’ve noticed.

Wells form, I’ve discovered two

Naturally saltwater wells on my

Visage and where do they go?

Down the small hill and the 

Mountain then the valley

And finally into my mouth 

Where the saltiness grows

To be normal and stalactites

Grow up from the ground—

Not with the Koreans 

Not with the Americans

But where do I really belong?

Where will I be free

To sing this unique song—

I call my own. My only

Heirloom I will pass 

Down to my children and

I know (I will make sure) that it will last

The story of a young girl

In the freezing cold choir room

Trying to eat honeyed rice cakes without being noticed

And made fun of being too fat for

The Asian standard.

Don’t make fun of me!

You are worth far less than the gravel I trample, under my feet.

Louise Kim is a student at the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, NY. Their writing has been published in a number of publications, including Et Cetera Magazine, Girls Right the World, and Oneul Zine, and is forthcoming in Ricochet Review. Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. In their free time, Louise enjoys practicing archery, studying French, developing their spiritual practice, and reading and writing.

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