Skip to main content

Losing Comfort and Becoming Pearl

by Kayla Steinberger

Comfort in country roads, where black rock is gold
Land is old, and shining liquid moon is cold
The virgin land is reaped like women’s rights, 
But we fight, my roots torn up to share the light
A mission, journey to the Land of Famine
Loaded cannon, feeling we are abandoned
Outsiders. Great Wall dividing more than land
Dealt different hands, but stayed when they could have ran
Called them heathens back home, well not in my house
My mother proud, would scold if came from my mouth
We were wrong all of us spreading laden lies, 
Judged with hateful eyes, turned from muted cries
The peasant life, not lush but so rich in soul, 
And whole-only guilty of bearing Marx toll
And then the Nanking came, a self-destruction 
On assumption, raided until there was nothing
Flood of confusion and that day they saved us, 
Embraced us and a surprise, they became us
Two sunsets hiding ‘til our Brothers arrived, 
On ocean knives, lucky to leave with our lives,
To the Land of Rising Sun, imbued with dread, 
To where the armed men led, with knowledge instead
So I then wielded pen to unveil the truth, 
For I had the proof, I tore past the glass ceiling and aimed for the roof
My roots rejected, “equality” I levied, 
My heart heavied, and still yet, my hand steadied
Banned from Yellow River the rest of my life, 
Land of Free by right, Land of Famine by write
I gave land to farmers, some peace to old men, 
To women, I gave them love for their children
Taught others humanity with my last breath, 
Long after my death the words still hold their breadth
The tongue of red dragons where here lies this girl,
Stories unfurl, my life, how I became Pearl


Barren, wasted, not fit to mother
Grieving, tearful, childless to suffer
Hopeful, longing, for the option 
Doubted, denied, from mixed-race adoption
Special, unique, you watched from below
Admiring, with wonder, my love to bestow
Tiny, supple, your hands they touched mine
Warring, ruthless, until you were mine
Approved, shameless, I embraced your sweet touch
Fulfilled, perfect, knew I’d love you this much
Budding, faithful, you and me in bliss

Treasured, adored, my heart you did kiss