Plastic Trophies

Dear Asian Youth,

here are two words:

oppression (uh-presh-uhn): the state of being heavily affected by unjust rules and systems

and

competition (kom-pi-tishuhn): rivalry; the act of striving to outdo another

words that sound so similar, yet are worlds apart

or rather

should be worlds apart

when the struggle of one

is used to erase the struggles of another,

oppression suddenly becomes

competition.

a meaningless war rages on,

and the winner is the one with

the most blood spilled

the most scars etched into your flesh

the most bruises radiating gruesome hues of black and blue

people fight so violently

for a prize with no prestige

a plastic trophy

a certificate that carries no honor

for a prize of selfishness or stupid self-validation

as i look in the mirror

scars stinging, muscles tensing

i think to myself,

“why do they want my wounds?”

– Julianne T.

Cover Photo Source: http://www.goldentiger.com/set-of-3-1st-2nd-3rd-trophies-with-plastic-kick-figurine-eagle-and-stone-base/