Celebrating this sunflower yellow skin
passed down from my early kin
name is Melanie Anne Gin
given by my mother and assimilation
ancestors dreaming of gum saam this gold mountain

Their melanin tinged with the American dream
fighting for the rights now afforded to me
Angel island a jail where they checked for disease
looking for paper tigers on a hunt to be free
I come from yellow bodies cooking for the white man in a new land
Dreaming of a better plan for future generations than poverty

I bow to my ancestors who gave me this now
Chinese immigrants escaping famine and Mao
catching fish with bare hands to supplement the plow
in Hawaii Japanese ones laboring in the hot sun
carrying steel beams building savings hard won
your love has allowed me to find my own way
May I honor your sacrifice each and every day

To Dr. Martin Luther King, Thay's brother in peace
preaching nonviolence on this path to be free
marched three times to Selma, fighting violence of the state,
racism of a people assimilated to hate
And now I cannot turn away from the mountaintop
MLK's vision of community beloved today

Thich Nhat hanh dear Thay True Bodhisattva guy
even as your homeland was bombed from the sky
with napalm you saw with compassionate eyes
imagining the lotus in fields of fire
even in passing continue to inspire
Dear Thay, my teacher, you taught me to breathe
now because of you I'm walking in peace

Every moment I settle into this sunflower skin
rooted in the stories of my blood and spiritual kin
color of the sunshine and gold mountains
I bow down to this body and all that's within