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car ride with my mother

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

bà ba wanted to write stories

do you think he is doing this for himself

glass marbles quiver still

a grasshopper's leg could break its calm

how her small frame bears the strength of

blackened teeth that tear at bone

stained with foreign blood blessed in foreign blood i hide

the traces etched in me too well

mandarin stumbles off my tongue like an apology

i am sorry this Dream has skinned away

the parts of you that are not

in me i didn’t know

my father used to write

stories i can’t read his words pared by cold

blade lost in a chasm of unspoken truths and

road trip silences

i think of peppers that hang above

the kitchen doorway crescent moons dipped in chili oil

how long have they been there i watch them

search for home in sterile supermarket aisles

everything has been for you


"car ride with my mother" observes the fragile thread that strings first-generation immigrants to their children, and the painful weight of sacrifice that will linger in generations to come.



Sabrina Mei is a junior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD. Her work has previously been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, John Hopkins University, Montpelier Arts Center, and the Yellow Barn Studio. In her spare time, she enjoys rereading Sherlock Holmes and watching an objectively excessive amount of cooking videos. You can find her on instagram @s.abrinamei.


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