YEAR OF THE SNAKE CONTEST
The place where your horses run free
A Chinese New Year Story about a Filipino American family written in haibun. 281 words.
My sister turns 24 this year. I know this because it is the Year of the Horse. “This will be a bad year for you,” my mother says to her, tsking.
“Why is the Year of the Rabbit a bad year for me when it’s my year?!” a flashback of 12 year old me asks my mom. “How should I know?” my mom shakes her head.
Never mind asking her why we even celebrate Chinese New Year and follow the Chinese zodiac. Mom has a fascination with Chinese superstitions, even though she is a Filipina born and raised in the Philippines.
Feng Shui books, ba-gua,
Imitation Ming vases
Litter my childhood
Her belief that these trinkets and practices will make her a millionaire one day has never faltered. This fascination manifested tenfold on Chinese New Year.
New Year’s Traditions
Jump up & down to grow tall
Round fruit, coins jingling
My towering height of 5’4” attests to the success of my 26 years of jumping.
I look over at Bridget, her hair wild and large as usual and slightly covering the large hibiscus flower tattooed on her neck.
Women of the Horse
Roam wild, listen to no one.
The freest spirit
Is there truth in this, or has this becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy? What does this year really have in store for you, Bridget? Years of rebellion and turmoil weathered her appearance, to the point where many confuse her as the older sister. Even her once-luxurious mane is now held together with a cheap weave.
Bridget smiles and laughs at my mom’s foreboding remark, oblivious to my wandering thoughts.
Woman of the Horse,
Living life to the fullest,
A true survivor.