Weekly feature by: Niina Tsuyuki Dubik

Sometimes it means
Constant corrections
To complete strangers.
“No, that’s my aunt, not my mother.”

Your curly light brown hair,
Your hazel eyes,
Your blue eyed aunt,
Your Asian mother.

When I got older
My hair got straighter,
Darker,
And I still don’t look like my mother.

Ukrainian dance
And kendo since you were seven
But some days
You don’t feel like you can claim either culture.
You’re not enough of either
To be anything.
You’re not enough,
You’re different,
You’re nothing.

Your aunt speaks
And is surprised you understand her.

You aced intro Japanese without trying
And people wondered how.

You tried to lighten your hair with lemons
To fit in with your blonde haired blue eyed
Ukrainian bilingual class.

If It doesn’t look like us,
Doesn’t talk like us,
Then It must not be one of us.

I eat pyrohy for lunch
And katsudon for dinner
And wonder if they’re right.