Poetry by Heather Hauck
Don’t assume that I am
grateful to be here
Six Asian women shot
left for dead
Can you hear me?
Your violence is killing us.
I’m drowning in a bottomless pit of whiteness:
Keep my head down, don’t be too emotional,
always be agreeable,
and don’t look too Asian-
Are you surprised that I speak in perfect English?
The look on your face shows so much disdain
Chink, go back to your country
I want to scream, Fuck you. Do you think I like it here?
Exhausted from proving that I exist,
I swallow my pain
The moment I stepped off the plane
with my brown slanted eyes and
coarse black hair
I stuck out from a sea of blonde waves
and fleshy white faces
A mother once told me that I looked like a china doll
and I believed her
I imagine my birth country
where mountains give way to the sky
the blossoms of lilacs fall like snow
and gold leaves of ginkgo trees
line the streets below
At night crying babies soothed on backs
of black haired
singing our ancestors’ songs
Given away at birth
my homeland is a myth
Go home you say?
I have no home.
I turn and walk away.
Heather Hauck was found in Daegu, South Korea, and was adopted when she was six months old. As an international transracial Korean adoptee and mother she’s mostly interested in exploring the intersections of adoption, motherhood, identity, and race. Her work has appeared in Visible Magazine, Children’s Home Society and Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, and she was a participant in the 2019 Twin Cities Listen to Your Mother. She lives with her husband and son in Minneapolis, Minnesota.