Photo by Luke Stackpoole

I pledge allegiance to the flag

That is wrapped around her jaw

Covering her nose and mouth

As her eyes stay steady

On the United States of America

Today, her head is hot

Her throat is dry

She struggles to breathe life

Into the republic

Today, divided not by race

Or by class

But by the new rules

For which we stand

Ms. Liberty, what say you

Shall we be apart and live alone

Or shall we be close and die together

As one nation

Don’t cry, Ms. Liberty

For your tears may fall

And infect another

Under the sky

Photo by Angel Lopez

The late Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran once wrote in a piece titled, “On Children”:

“You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

Children brought into this world are expected by their parents to adopt family values, world views, and traditions. Parents…

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Winter seasons inspire a variety of scenes in the mind’s eye, from snowy landscapes to hot cocoa by a warm fire. Some people can’t wait to hibernate as the colder seasons hit, while many others feel they have no choice — they’re included in the six percent of the US population who are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder.

While S.A.D. is one of the many causes for a mid-year slump, other reasons include burn-out from holiday drama with family, recovery from break-ups, periods of unemployment, and/or an uninspiring daily rut of a routine.

Whichever the reason, the result is the…

To you, to me, to us all.

Photo by Jonathan Chng

I was five years old when I was first introduced to the ill feelings brought about by comparison. My mother and I had just immigrated to America to live with my father and his side of the family. At the arrivals gate, stood my father and his sister who was holding a little girl about the same age as me. She and I would grow close, like sisters. For the first three years together, I saw us as twins; we loved the same dolls, games, movies, and sweets. Then, something changed. …

Photo by Nikko Macaspac

I’ve come to talk with you again.

The last time you visited, we spent days in my room, with the doors locked and shades down, listening to melancholic music that validated my depression. You whispered all the memories and played them in my head until I lost my grip on reality, till you had me convinced that this was the way things would always be… you and me. We didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, didn’t see a reason why we should keep trying to heal, if all this effort was going to put us back in the same place again — together.

Looking back, I can’t recall the…

Photo by Melisa Popanicic

The word “vacation” typically inspires relaxing visuals and a sense of eager anticipation for the average person. For some, insert the word “family” in front of the former, and a dash of anxiety with a pinch of dread is added to the mix.

Flashback a few weeks prior to my most recent trip, I was feeling on top of the world. Not due to any external confirmation of achievement, but more so to a deeply internal knowing that I was making major strides on my healing journey. …

Cindy Q. Nguyen

Lover. Writer. Peaceful fighter.

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