NaPoWriMo 2021 Poem #2: Railroading

By Daniel Paiz

There’s always so many topics to choose from when NaPoWriMo comes around. Fortunately for both this writer and the audience, there’s 30 opportunities to explore some ideas. Right now, the United States is in the midst of one of the worst periods of time for one group in particular: Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The rise in anti-Asian sentiment has been fueled by two things: American politicians choosing a scapegoat, and people across the US looking for a group to blame for the COVID-19 global pandemic.

While it might seem out of nowhere, such sentiment is not historically new. From the Gold Rush in the latter half of the 1800s to WW II internment camps, there is a lot of ugly history that is either ignored or not widely disseminated. Like other historical events, it’s up to everyone to research and learn; Google is right there to do so.


Getting from one part of the country to the other

was one of the most important goals of the 1860s.

Amazing how connection across cities and states

between races and ethnicities didn’t translate.

America first wanted to get rid of Asian women,

those who hold families and communities together,

can’t have that when trying to eradicate those

who can have more unwelcomed youth of the same feather.

Next the US moved onto more systemic nonsense,

excluding those who sifted and hammered together

one of the first connections between towns lest,

they now would have no workers if employers followed

such Exclusion,

evaded 1882’s rule with indentured servitude,

105 was the magic number come World War II,

only to intern another group,

These aren’t vague references to act like this is new,

In 2021 there’s people trying to survive

but were delivered bruises external yet internal too,

your shoes must be so comfy and light

should you never try on different pairs,

Yeah quarantining and no live concerts sucked,

but that doesn’t justify attacks so unfair,

inconvenience doesn’t mean retaliate others into despair.

Attacks on any one group because of their racial, ethnic, or any other background is unacceptable and wrong. This poem is the smallest of things that can be done to raise awareness about what’s happening to those in the AAPI community. Should your means allow it, the following link is a starting point:

Fundraiser by : Support the AAPI Community Fund

There are likely local organizations you can donate funds, resources, and/or time and attention to as well. Everyone has to take the steps to learn and then act in some capacity; otherwise this will continue on with no end in sight.


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