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foldingunfolding origami 1999foldingunfolding origami
Betty T. Kaos 1999
I thought I could learn
by undoing the bends and creases you created,
studying the lines made onto this piece of paper,
and foldingunfolding it once again.
But it didn't come out the same,
it wasn't quite as beautiful.
Instead it looked like a crumpled piece of paper,
that eventually I smooth out
and attempt to begin again.
My mother's journey 1997
Published in NuyorAsian Anthology:
Asian American Writings About New York City
by The Asian American Writer's Workshop 1999
Also published in Tapestry, by Wheaton College 2002
My Mother's Journey
Betty T. Kao
I see her face, contorted and perplexed.
She's five years old,
trudging toward an endless unlightened road,
clutching to her mother.
On their path they will confront rocky hills,
and corrupt soldiers carrying sacks filled with stolen heirlooms.
The darkness, the coldness take no excuses.
They must go forward.
The only directional guide is the sad movement of the herd,
each with their own pitiful stories of:
proud names, families, and estates left behind.
She holds her mother's hand in a vice,
knowing that if she is lost, she will never be seen again.
The journey will not end there.
Ten years later she will leave her new home in Burma,
a land of water festivals and tranquil forests turns into
the new upheaval of homes and mass executions;
only to arrive in Taiwan alone, with n
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