Two Poems by Pacyinz Lyfoung






Yellow Whistles, 2021

Buttercups sway in the wind on wispy stems, tiny fairies in grass forests, chirping silently of meadows and woods seeking to escape from tar and cement through cracks in sidewalks and at the fringes of parking lots, they lift golden bowls

outside stone temples like monks draped in uncut cotton swaths the color of sunrise surrendering to the kindness of strangers filling their tak bat vessels without a sound, each grain of rice shared

plants the seeds of compassion, the whole street becomes a sacred space, where the divine spark breathed into each soul links up in mutual aid, braiding into a garland of marigolds spicing up the air

with the blessings from a thousand hands, joining in leaps of faith, fragrantly ephemeral chains of flowers tying families, friends and neighbors into one Milky Way, an ethereal veil of citrine stars connecting different galaxies into one universe where

a banner of bold yellow letters builds a yellow brick path where heels click to reclaim home, which is not a White House, but a freedom plaza where people from all shades of the rainbow
come to affirm that black lives matter

and yellow whistles stand guard in pockets or next to hearts, until they are kissed by lips calling for help trusting it will come to Stop Asian Hate, a wordless song of solidarity that all belong


Pacyinz Lyfoung is a French-born, Minnesota-grown Hmong/Asian American woman poet. Her art reflects her ongoing recovery of her Hmong/Asian heritage, documentation of the Hmong/Asian American experience within the broader context of the communities in which she lives, and contribution to the visibility of Hmong/Asian Americans within the fabric of American society. In DC, as a bike commuter, she has explored the District along streets and paths, up and down small and big hills, catching details at the slow pace of a bike ride. Her favorite places in DC are outdoors/nature community spaces such as the National Botanical Gardens, the National Arboretum, and the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. During the pandemic, she really focused on poetry as a means of building community and bridges among various groups, in solidarity in the struggle for racial and economic equity. 

Image by Yeon So Jeong, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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