the woman who brought me into this world,

       and carried me in your love and fear,

the one who did it all alone

       with no one by your hospital side,

the daughter of parents who left you in poverty.


bring out the Privilege in me,

the master of two tongues making you de jai lai lai in me,

the growing up with the school’s free lunch program and summer camp classes in me,

the graduated top ten with almost a full-ride to UCLA in me,


bring out the Privilege in me,

the always fed first and never left going to bed starving

      because you are no stranger to starvation but didn’t want that in me,

the ingraining of “trust no strangers and let no boy into your heart until after college”

      not wishing to see child abduction or teenage pregnancy suffering in me,


bring out the Privilege in me,

the long black hair, dark brown eyes, smile wide replica

      of you clearly seen in me,

the constant chastising for wanting to grow up fast and wear makeup young in me,  

the appreciation now that you didn’t want older men sexualizing and preying on me,


bring out the Privilege in me,

the first-generation child expected to achieve the american dream

      drowning from the anxiety (with)in me,  

the high school graduate with big ambitions yet lost directions in me,

the young college adult granted the liberty of making independent decisions

      that should ultimately lead to a successful career path to sustain family in me,


bring out the privilege in me,

because I know that everything I have is a result of your sacrifices,

because my bare feet never had to worry about stepping on pointy rocks or being bitten by snakes,

because I never had to sleep at a rice farm with a gun by my side,

because I grew up in a first world country with clean water readily available,

because I lived in absence of a violent communist agenda that thrives on the blood of our ancestors,

I am the daughter of refugees and broken families,

I am the product of parenting done right,

     the parenting you never got,

I am the one always seen with a bright smile on my face

     because you made sure to shield my youth from being tainted by too much      reality,

I am the one you spend nights losing sleep over

      the one you worry about walking home alone at night,

I am the daughter you taught yourself to trust

     because you understand how precious a mother-daughter relationship is.


bring out the privilege in me,

maybe because


were the one to instill it in me



find it such a Privilege to be your daughter in me.


Amanda is a fourth year Anthropology (B.A.) major and an Asian American Studies minor. She enjoys reading, photography, and food.

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