A 1990s Phenomenon by Jenny Wong

Four base pairs,
seeds encoded
for our superficial surfaces
but where
is the connection
from phenome to phoneme,
that gene
of recessive thinking
known to cause assumptions
about what language
should have been burned
into my mouth from birth
even though I have never
set foot on the land
of the mother tongue.
My roots are seasoned
three generations
into this soil
and yet I am seen
as a tea leaf
fresh
off the boat.

Jenny Wong is a writer, traveler, and occasional business analyst.  She resides in the foothills of Alberta, Canada and is currently attempting to create a poetry collection about locations, learn a few words in Russian, and regularly visit her local boxing studio.  She was a finalist for The Writers’ Union of Canada’s Short Prose Competition, longlisted for the Berlin Writing Prize and shortlisted for The Platform Review Chapbook series. Her publications include Claw & Blossom, Whale Road Review, The Stillwater Review, Atlas and Alice, and elsewhere.

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