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Hanna Elise Lee
"돼지 인형"

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I always held on to its little pink hoof.
My pig stuffed animal was always there with me, but I never really paid much attention to it.
My parents handed it to me when I was a baby. From there, I never let it go. But, I tended to hide it. If I didn’t, I would be harassed for carrying it around everywhere. I was scared and confused. I wanted to get rid of the stuffed piggy but I just couldn’t.
It was a burden.

Then, middle school rolled around and I started to love my pig stuffed animal; it was a part of me and it let me grow.
It was becoming something I never wanted to let go of; something I was given to protect.
I finally began to accept the stuffed pig.
But it was getting taken from me; stolen.
They took my precious stuffed pig; something I always had but never appreciated.
It finally was taken from me.
I was getting older and was learning to love it more, so why?
Why did what I had but never wanted, get snatched as soon as I learned to welcome its company?
I always hid it away in embarrassment and shame, because I was scared of the judgement.
People would laugh, pick on me, and insult my pig stuffed animal.
But now these people wanted it too. They wanted something they weren’t ever supposed to have.
So they took it, mangled it, used it, then returned it to make fun of once again.
When I got it back, it was bruised and beaten.
People stepped on it, it was ruined; it was tainted with stains, and the stuffing began spilling out
from every ripped seam.
Nonetheless, I put my everything into fixing it.

I wanted them to see that it is important to me, and that I was willing to do everything to keep it safe.
My stuffed piggy was not something anyone could just tamper with when they wanted.

This stuffed pig, this beloved thing, this prized and cherished treasure I was blessed with, my
Asian-American culture.

Artist's Statement

This poem was inspired by my Asian culture and background; I am a 15 year old half Filipino and half Korean American. I related my background to a child's stuffed animal. It was something I always had but never really appreciated. I tended to hide it to avoid being made fun of. The racist slurs and prejudice overwhelmed me to a point of also hating and making fun of my ethnicity, just to fit in.


Hanna Elise Lee is a fifteen year-old writer and student from New Jersey.

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