Poets in Motion
Poets in Motion

A Lack of Lactose in Me

I wrote this poem as a part of a series called milk will not sửa me; a series which focuses on the consumption of milk, and its effects upon the Southeast Asian mind and body... #VocalNPM.

A Lack of Lactose in Me

Growing up, I didn't grow much. Physically, I mean. As a 5'1" Southeast Asian-Canadian, I've dealt with many comparisons made by my parents. These comparisons were about my appearance; I was shorter than many of my Caucasian peers. This makes sense of course, as people will often remind me that Asian women are very petite... typically.

I didn't mind being told that so often. What I did mind, was my parents trying to "fix" my height—something I inherited from them, with milk. The problem was that milk didn't make me feel any better or let alone stronger. My stomach always felt a little bloated after drinking some milk. Not such a great feeling.

It always made me a little perplexed as to why my height was compared with others all the time... especially people who barely had the same genetics. Historically, cow's milk was not even a part of Asian cuisine and culture, and therefore the people evolved differently and lacked lactose. Essentially, this poem is my way of reminding people that we are all made to be different, and that is okay.

a lack of lactose in memay break my bones,but before i ever hear a singlecrack,i am confronted with a condition...that is far moretumultuous.an upset stomachis what i have,when i am told that i mustconsume everything...that is not meant for my body.without regardfor my health,but for me to be as grandas the milk skinned people.

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Lenora Huỳnh
Lenora Huỳnh
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Lenora Huỳnh

Lenora is a second generation Vietnamese-Canadian poet, artist, and visual culture major. In her spare time, she loves to watch Criterion Collection films and visit art galleries.

Follow me @lenorahuynh

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