Xinyi Meng: Come Back, Sit Down
Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Photo: Joanna C. Valente

A Chinese Dad at U.S. Parent-Teacher Conference


A Chinese dad is worried.

How’s my child doing in class?

                                                                         U.S. Teachers fear his child may have ADHD.


He behaves well with an iPad

Other times he can’t focus.

                                                                         The Chinese dad is worried.


Come back, sit down, put your feet on the ground.

Yes, you made a good choice.

                                                                          Is the child ADHD?


I want the best for your child

you know. He must stop picking his nose!

                                                                          Dad is worried.


Say it! Don't be afraid!

Say it! What else do you enjoy except recess?

                                                                          Is my child ADHD?


This morning he calls me in English — “Dad!”

He’s understanding a lot but he seldom speaks

in English. A Chinese dad is worried.

U.S. Teachers fear his child may have ADHD.

Xinyi Meng is currently doing her graduate study in TESOL and World Language at the University of Georgia. With a native language in Mandarin, this is her first time to use English as a language of witness to reflect on and reexamine cultural exchange and cultural heritage. Her poems are forthcoming in A Velvet Giant.