The Survivor by Marilyn Chin

Don’t tap your chopsticks against your bowl.
Don’t throw your teacup against the wall in anger.
Don’t suck on your long black braid and weep.
Don’t tarry around the big red sign that says
“danger!”
All the tempests will render still; seas will calm,
horses will retreat, voices to surrender.
That you have this way and not that,
that your skin is yellow, not white, not black,
that you were born not a boychild but a girl,
that this world will be forever puce-pink are just as well.
Remember, the survivor is not the strongest or
most clever;
merely, the survivor is almost always the youngest.
And you shall have to relinguish that title
before long.

-Marilyn Chin

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