Inside Out and Back Again
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Every new year Mother visits the I Ching Teller of Fate. This year he predicts our lives will twist inside out. (4)
But when we keep talking about / how close the Communists / have gotten to Saigon, / how much prices have gone up / since American soldiers left, / how many distant bombs were heard the previous night, / miss Xinh finally says no more. (18)
Everyone knows the ship / could sink, / unable to hold / the piles of bodies / that keep crawling on / like raging ants / from a disrupted nest. (63)
Our rescue is now certain, / the party blossoms / as food suddenly / comes up from below. / Ramen noodles, beef jerky, / dried shrimp, butter biscuits, / tamarind pods, canned fish, / and drums and drums of real water. (92)
The man behind us whispers, Choose America, More opportunities there, Especially for a family With boys ready to work. (106)
On one side / of the bright, noisy room, / light skin. / On the other, / dark skin. / Both laughing, chewing, / as if it never occurred / to them / someone medium / would show up. (143)
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