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  • Set the World on Fire
I Learned to Live from Them
Raquel Wong '23

I wish, wish, wish to be fast, racing cousins over grass

I hear’ em calling me a “Slowpoke!”

In the old carriage entering the past

Watching zip liners, oh, what crazy folk

On a family stroll I cannot be last

Paddling past pretty, preening birds in live oaks

Classifying, cataloging, costumes, choreography, and cast

Nearly soaked in the moat I am provoked

Fast balls collide in a clap, a blast

Everything goes in stir fry

Noodles are never too cheesy

Can’t make perfect wonton though I try

But pancakes are always easy

Rice is better than mince pie

We are kings of the world, eating all things leafy

Poor man’s sushi, as good as blue skies

Sages don’t always speak a wiser tone

Their disciples curse in “Uff-das” and “Ai-yahs”

We don’t cheer “SKOL!” in monotone

Xiao-meis order phos

And night owls are never alone She says, “Time is money” and “Don’t worry, cous”

Norway is a ways away

Never seen Guangdong

Cook the food as they say

Listening while still young

Elders call this child’s play

Learning his mother tongue

Teapot needs a vacation day

I am from people far-flung 


Photo by Jay Yuen

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Lisa Fernandez, Director of Communications & Marketing