Poetry Archive

The Unmothered

I could tell you everything you wanted to know 
My coming State side
to pursue, to embody the American Dream

I could tell you about flying over the shining sea; amber waves patch-worked 
like glassy rice fields - my soul a mere shadow mired in the water
A pawn where stars and stripes the occident ALWAYS triumphs over the 
crescent moon, the orient


In secret

As hidden as the Cantonese heritage upon my visage


I was not relinquished
I was a missing child
I had memories of merlions, touch-me nots,and hawker stalls
I was rooted in the satay clubs, double decker busses, and Singlish
slinging lah’s and aiya’s as part of my lexic
on colonizing Kipling; embracing the hybridity of Singaporean

Not all orphans are real ones.
 I was a manufactured one.

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Filed under: Poetry Archive


Kim-Ling Sun is a poet, writer, and educator. Her work is inspired by her life experience as beautifully blended mixed race Singaporean-Chinese American. Her latest poem "Dirt Spawn" appeared in the chapbook Faceless Brown Masses: A Blackout Response to Flatiron Books. She teaches Dual Credit English at a local high school in Houston, and was the 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award in Texas. She also teaches creative writing workshops in the summer for WITS (Writers In The Schools) working with youth to develop their creativity and voice.