Yellow is a Protest

My daughter has a yellow puffer coat

a bright bundle of color 

skipping on sidewalks

A protest against the monotony of overcast sky

a wake-up to wonder color

joy reaching far and wide

What would my world be without her yellow?

She is the zest and zing of lemons

worth the weight of gold crowns

scent of fresh pineapples and papayas

and the hope of daffodils rising 

A goldfinch colors the sky with yellow song

reminding me that God made yellow things too:

mustard and marigolds

cornfields, kong-namul, canaries

And the sun, oh the sun, 

colored with burning bush-fire 

and the wild scribble of kid’s crayons

What would we be without your heat, wax, and birdsong?

I am yellow

shades of skin and starlight

moonshine in the dark

reflecting the Light of all Lights

bright, beautiful, beloved yellow:

A protest against virus lies, superiority, and silenced lives.

I am a Threshold of Flesh and Blood

Image Credit: Foundry Co from Pixabay

Originally written for The Mudroom.

I was young when I first realized that my biracial existence inhabits liminal space. 

We piled into the sticky church van, and left the Californian mountains where I’d spent a week at an Asian American Christian summer camp. It was my first experience at a summer camp, my first experience with a large group of Christians, and my first time exclusively surrounded by other Asian Americans. As we drove down the mountain, away from late night campfire worship songs and Bible stories I’d heard for the first time in my life, a friend in the van turned towards me and announced, “You should’ve heard how some of the boys talked about you in our cabin last night. They are obsessed with mixed girls like you.” I could tell he thought the comment was something I should be happy about, but all I felt was the heat rising between my skin and cheekbones.

Years later, thinking about that comment would make me feel small and shriveled up inside. It weaved itself into everything. It was clear that being obsessed with “mixed girls like me” meant being obsessed with the power of whiteness more than anything. I tell a friend about it, but she asks why I’m upset and making things about race, and claims she would be happy to have the attention—however it comes.

Even before I knew his name, white supremacy was waging a war around me and within me.

Without any formal training, I learned to resist my Koreanness like I was on a strict diet. I cut things out, hid what felt most like home, brushed and beat the wild out of my mixed hair, and said no to things I’d always loved. I tried to starve the Imago Dei in me. 

It took many long years before I began to realize that my biracial body was a beautiful bridge of existence.

Head on over to The Mudroom to read the rest of the post!