Poetry & Migration #6: Mai Der Vang

Poetry & Migration

Poetry & Migration #6: Mai Der Vang

Mai Der Vang — 04/13/2017

As part of "Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration," the first formalized programming of the Poetry Coalition, Milkweed Editions, Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, and Birds, LLC have partnered to curate a selection of poems on the theme of migration. A new poem will be distributed each Thursday in March and April, online and in Pocket Poem size at several Minneapolis and St. Paul independent bookstores.
Learn more and read all poems in the series»



That day you brought it home

              It’s like tiny diamonds
              That turn to water
              Taste like ice Try it

You too
Once saw how it dropped

A slow searching
Until it went away

Gone are the warm banana leaves
The vapor rains

Evacuee from a rainforest

Hostile frost
Settled your skinny body

Or maybe that city
Would start you over

No layers felt enough

We played with this gift
Every day

Compressed to no more
Numbed in our flushed palms:

Those of refugee children
Who now believed

              Sprinkle more
              In my pile
              My footprint stays

Join the conversation and share your favorite poems about migration in the comments below and on social media by using #WeComeFromEverything. 

“Sojourn with Snow” from Afterland. Copyright © 2017 by Mai Der Vang. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota. graywolfpress.org

Mai Der Vang

Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland (Graywolf Press, 2017). She is an editorial member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle and coeditor of How Do I Begin: A Hmong American Literary Anthology. Her essays have appeared in The New York TimesSan Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post.