“The tiger mom is a legend,
fake as any old wives’ tale,”
said the blind eye to our skeletal bodies,
bruised and cut limbs,
and crumbling brains.
After we move out,
after we wake to phone alarms and not tigers,
after we disable our phone tracking apps,
our ears still ring, awaiting the roar and the claw.
Every key we press on our laptops
still and always steps on mine-laced lands.
Every A-minus set to destroy us,
set to shred our tigers’ so-longed-for balm.
Every falter in step
shatters the gold trophy child,
that the tigers demand
to offset the war they’ve escaped.
But we don’t seek a balm.
Nothing closes our wounds
or returns the truth stolen from us—
the truth that we are enough.
Amy Gu is pursuing degrees in the liberal arts and thrives on opportunities to contribute to education and social justice. A Chinese-American Texan from Austin, she loves quirky art, slam poetry, local cafes, tea and cats.
Art Credit: 孙保仁 (Sun Bao Ren), the author’s great-uncle