I sit here
Attempting to put pen to paper
Attempting to come to a summation of
All of the pain of these last few weeks
My heart feels so heavy with the gravity
Of the murder of my people
A people rooted so strongly in their adversity
And equally in their triumph
When I close my eyes
I am haunted by nightmares of violence
And when I wake my eyes open to the harsh reality
I toss and turn and weep
For I know not where this ends
They say we’re in the midst of a reckoning
But where is the justice?
Where is this so called scale which deems to punish evil acts and deeds?
I sit aghast and saddened all at the same time
Eyes closed eyes opened
Another newsreel my heart drops into my stomach
Feeling nauseous I attempt to shove down my breakfast
After a sleepless night too wide awake
To sleep at night
I pray that my elders are safe
I want to take the pain away
Bowing before my ancestors with offerings of incense and fruit I pray
But the burden is too heavy for my or your shoulders
My brother my sister
I wish I could hold you
Arms spread open to you
That we could cry together on this hallowed ground
And lift each other up
But sometimes I feel too heavy too even lift myself up
From the depths of despair that I’m feeling
If I could soar with you into the skies of a more promising future of safety I would
But for now I feel unsafe
In the harsh reality my body and mind must sift through.
This poem is dedicated to my late grandfather, who always taught me that true strength could be found in my roots and ancestry.
Carina Kimlan Hinton is a Vietnamese Amerasian poet and writer who explores the intricacies of her own mixed race heritage through her work. Her mother's family are Vietnamese refugees, and she grew up hearing stories of their courageous escape from Vietnam, which has inspired her from a young age to seek to understand this complex journey.