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My 3-year-old Draws a Family Portrait, a Poem by Kuo Zhang

Daddy’s short beard,

like a sunflower,

grows around his head.


Mommy’s a squished

salted duck egg.


Brother, a crooked potato

stuck at the top

of fish bones.


And you, a mushroom

with an upside-down smile.

Two tiny eyes

become black moles

on chin.


We ALL look

so alien,


just as what we’re called

on the official documents.


Kuo Zhang is an Assistant Professor in Education at Siena College. She has a bilingual book of poetry in Chinese and English, Broadleaves (Shenyang Press). Her poem “One Child Policy” was awarded second place in the 2012 Society for Humanistic Anthropology [SHA] Poetry Competition held by the American Anthropology Association. She served as poetry & arts editor for the Journal of Language & Literacy Education in 2016-2017 and also one of the judges for 2015 & 2016 SHA Poetry Competition. Her poems and translated poetry have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Rattle, Plume Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Anmly, The Rialto, New Note Poetry, Nine Mile, Gyroscope Review, Coffin Bell Journal, The Roadrunner Review, Lily Poetry Review, Mom Egg Review, Bone Bouquet, and North Dakota Quarterly, etc.


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