Hope

ByLong Chen

May 23, 2021

We are suffocated
by the stereotype of outsiders
we are shoved
some have fallen
but still we stand
as strong as we can

Because together
we have hope
and from that hope
we help pull each other up

Finding hope is not easy
but when we put on a lens
and really look for it
we see it everywhere
in our past, present,
and future

Hope lies in those
who paved tracks and lighted torches for us to follow

We find hope
in the discoveries of Chien-Shiung Wu
her determination and perseverance in physics
broke through
what people thought
were unbreakable barriers
she inspires
coming generations of would-be scientists
to keep exploring

We find hope
in the influential architecture of I.M. Pei
architecture from different places, near and far
his idiosyncratic view
of modernist architecture
reshaped the world
his signature designs
instilled the east into the west

We find hope
in the melodious cello sounds of Yo-Yo Ma
sounds that could bring loved ones back
sounds that could transcend borders
and connect people that
in reality are miles apart

Yo-Yo Ma’s music is a world of serenity
where I can spread my wings
and fly above the chaos
to look for hope around us

I find hope
in leaders and volunteers of our Chinese community
who advocate for change
change to shape our better future
for generations to come

I find hope
in the tender faces at Stop Asian Hate protests
who try to repair their broken hearts
and society’s distorted view
by rallying hand in hand

I find hope
in the paintings about Our Time
where children and youth
contribute to the ever-growing reservoir of love
giving comfort
to those who need it most

I find hope
in Chinese youth speeches
on crucial issues
of social justice and anti-Asian racism
the impactful voices of us
who, despite being young and small
have seen the world
and want to tell the stories to motivate changes

Because
through our eyes
seeking change is not a burden
it is an opportunity
and a responsibility
to bring hope

“Hope is the thing with feathers”
a bird that lives within the human soul
a bird sings rain or shine
gale or storm

Do you hear the bird chirping?
the cheerful sound among us
the eternal reassurance and inspiration
within you, and me

7 thoughts on “Hope”
  1. This is so beautifully crafted. I love how you bring us through a journey of heroes we can look to for hope and give a nod to Emily Dickinson’s “Hope” to remind us that hope lives inside each of us. My favorite stanza is “Because / through our eyes / seeking change is not a burden / it is an opportunity / and a responsibility / to bring hope.” I love the idea that hope is a responsibility, just as justice-seeking is. Thank you for sharing your writing!

  2. This poem captures sample talents of the community and shines with immense hope for the future

  3. How funny that you wrote this before we read ” Hope Is the Thing With Feathers” this week. It is one of my favorite poems! I have always found the comparison of a bird to hope to be incredibly apt.
    I especially liked your last stanza, “Do you hear the bird chirping?/ the cheerful sound among us/ the eternal reassurance and inspiration/ within you, and me”. It reminds us that hope is within each of us and sometimes it takes all our strength to find it. Very thought provoking and inspiring poem!

  4. This is beautifully written. These lines particularly resonated with me:

    Because together
    we have hope
    and from that hope
    we help pull each other up

    It reminds me of a quote by Bonnie St. John, who won several medals skiing with one leg at the Winter Paralympics. “I was ahead in the slalom. But in the second run, everyone fell on a dangerous spot. I was beaten by a woman who got up faster than I did. I learned that people fall down, winners get up, and gold medal winners just get up faster.”

    I love the image that hope is what helps pull us up, and that together we are stronger.

  5. What a beautiful and inspiring poem Elaine! I’m completely blown away. I admire your talent and writing skills.

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