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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Asia (02/26/09)

TITLE: Bui Doi Child
By Coleene VanTilburg


I am war.
I am lust.
I am born.
I am disposable.
I am street child.
I am Hanoi.
I am American soldier.
I am Vietnam woman.
I am hungry.
I am orphan.
I am Amerasian.
I am bui doi, dust child.
I am bruised.
I am dirty.
I am shoeless.
I am motherless.
I am numb.
I am voiceless.
I am Tran.
I am dejected.
I am dust.

I find scraps to eat.
I find shelter.
I find work.
I find others.
I find opportunity.

I have picture.
I have face.
I have "auntie."
I have job.

I am given papers.
I am given identity.
I am given shoes.
I am given purpose.
I am given over.

I am a pawn.
I am used.
I am a commodity.
I am three gold bars.
I am purchased.
I am discarded.
I am rejected.
I am half-blood.
I am lost.
I am embarrassment.
I am reminder.

I am now immigrant.
I am now in United States.
I am now helped.
I am now older.
I am now free.
I am now surviving.

I have found home.
I have found sponsor.
I have found school.
I have found a voice.
I have found comfort.
I have found safety.

But I am still lost.
But I am still nobody.
But I am still unloved.
But I am still Tran.
But I am still dust.

I learn.
I grow.
I question.
I answer.
I search.
I see.
I want.
I reach out.
I listen.

I feel something.
I feel everything.
I feel hope.
I feel encouraged.
I feel stronger.
I feel love.

Who is this God?
What is this love?
Where do I find it?
Why does He love me?
When can I know?
How does it work?

Yes, He died
So I can live?
I am His child?
I am adopted?

I will have a true identity.
I will have hope.
I will have a future.
I will have a country.
I will have fellowship.
I will have community.
I will have Truth.
I will have brothers.
I will have sisters.

I will believe.

I am no longer dust child.
I am no longer fatherless

I am Child of war.
I am Christ's child.
I am Citizen of Heaven.
I am Worthy.
I am Grace.
I am Tran.
I am Saved.

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the Saints, and are of God's household.

Many children conceived and born of Vietnam mothers and American soldiers were outcasts. Later they were used as pawns to facilitate a family escaping the Communist regime and immigrating to the U.S., since they were recognized by the embassy as having American features. “Temporarily adopted”, and once arriving into the U.S; they were once again shunned and discarded within their community.

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This article has been read 521 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Faithful Okoye03/05/09
Wow. I totally got it. From i am war to i am now loved.
it's sad. may God help them know they are loved. That in his eyes, they are not outcast.
Norma-Anne Hough03/06/09
How sad that innocent children are used in such a terrible manner. Thanks for this poem.
Josiah Kane03/06/09
What a reminder of the injustice and poverty endemic to this part of the world. I liked the simple style of your young, disillusioned poet.
By the way, don't forget to read some of the other stories in Intermediates and leave feedback. Let's all help one another
Mildred Sheldon03/06/09
Once I started reading your poem I was pulled into it. What saddness and what injustice little ones suffer all because of our short sightenedness. God loves all people and for that I am thankful. Beautifully written.
Jana Kelley03/06/09
Excellent work! I was captivated.
Beth B03/08/09
Wow! What a story told through poetry. Thanks for sharing. Jesus does make a difference.
Lyn Churchyard03/08/09
You have put a lot of thought and effort into this entry. From the first to the last work of this poem you drew me on.

Excellent job; well done.
Karlene Jacobsen03/09/09
This seems so simple, yet it is profoundly stated. It begins with a seemingly hopeless state, but ends with Hope Himself.
Well done.
Loren T. Lowery03/11/09
You took your reader on a road from despair to triumphal hope. Well done! Your ability to capture and express these emotions is commendable.
Benjamin Graber03/26/09
Hi Coleene!
I like this one a lot; I like the flow of it, and the way you built it using short phrases to build images.
Keep up the good work!