Monday, June 25, 2012

The Last Time I Saw Your Face

I believe I have always been spiritual. Most Asians are. Spirits and superstitions were engrained in my DNA since the day I was born.

On the morning I arrived to earth, my grandmother spat in my face, “Pah, a girl. She is so ugly! Look at that pale skin, not even a mother could love that. Who will want to take her off our hands?” Grandmother asked the servants in the room with a fa├žade of disbelief.

“A girl; is it worth sending words to my husband? Should we call him from the war so he can come look at her? It’s not a boy. I don’t want to waste his time.” My mother said in her weak nineteen-year-old voice.

My father, a soldier on the American side, was fighting his own people for freedom in Vietnam. 

Four days after my birth, my father snuck back from the shooting and blown bodies to hold a new life in his arms. Through the night, he held me as he stared at my face until it was twilight. To increase his chance of survival, he left when the sky was pitch black, when it was hard to see the silhouette of a person walking into the jungle. 

That was the last time he held me, the last time he saw my face, the last time he called my name.

Written by Linh Dang

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