My lips can move, But cannot speak

My lips can move, But cannot speak

[My lips can move, But cannot speak]

Wide eyes and yellowed skin

Masking the fraud they do not seek

Her elusive past lies within


[My lips can move, But cannot speak]

A mother of China glides near

Brown eyes so tender and so meek

She thinks there is nothing to fear


[My lips can move, But cannot speak]

The kind curiosity begins

Admiring her hair that flows so sleek

She gains her trust, and grins


[My lips can move, But cannot speak]

Query of where her origins lie

Could she be a legacy of the clique?

She feeds a promising reply


[My lips can move, But cannot speak]

The weightful qualifier proceeds

Do tongues reflect the patois she squeaks?

She scrapes her knee and bleeds


[My lips can move, But cannot speak]

Noting her fault, she abandons ground

Disappointed with the bleak

For a daughter of China was falsely found


A note from the writer: As a Chinese adoptee, the inability to speak Chinese spreads a demeaning mark that mainland Chinese point out. Interactions begin with a harmless ethnicity guessing game and when they guess right, we watch their face light up as a reward. But this reward is temporary, for their hopes fall right back down as we answer the following question regarding our ability to match their tongue. We are either left in silence or completely dropped out of conversation and the world falls back to how it was, as if we had never met at all.


Editors: Nikki J, Zoe L., Joyce S.