Happy Lao New Year 2022!

Year of the Tiger has finally arrived with much excitement for everyone! April is National Poetry Month in the United States, so it seems like a great idea to share one of the new pieces I’d been working on. I hope you enjoy it!

Year of the Tiger, Laomerican Style

If mom had her way, she’d help everyone back home,
From the edges of famed Luang Prabang
To our old neighborhood in bustling Vientiane,
The one just past Wat Mixay near Ban Inpaeng,
Even as far as Savannakhet, Champasak and Pakse.
Every other day she’ll ask my sisters and I
To help her send something again by Western Union
To friends and family in Laos and farther away,
Especially during the new year or any holiday.
Some we’ve met before, others are quite new,
But what are you going to do?

It’s her way of remembering our community
That raised her to tend the future generously.
“In America, you can dream of a thousand things
You’ll do with liberty, but what good are they
Without reaching for a tomorrow worth having?”

It’s been decades since she’s been back, like many.
Time is such a relentless tiger by the fragrant river waiting.
But mother spent her life teaching us to never hesitate,
To seek to help in even the smallest ways, in every moment.
Each infinite in potential, kind as an April day full of harmony,
A million friendly sabaidees.

As some interesting news, Western Union has also begun a campaign to raise awareness of their app which now allows payouts in US dollars in Laos, to help keep friends, families, and communities connected now matter what the reason. Be sure to check it out!

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