Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What I See on the Porch of My Dreams

A glass of green tea cools on the arm
of a tall-backed wicker chair that frames
my grandmother’s silver head. On her lap
she holds my daughter, while my son
sits at her feet.

She’s telling them a story about old China,
about silk and citadels and dragon kites,
Sun Yat-Sen and the war years, flight
to Hong Kong, then to Britain, then
new life in America.

My mother and I listen at the window
but when I turn to her to speak, the voices
fall silent, light fails, I wake to the creak
of wicker on an empty porch and the smell
of green tea.

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