don’t be Chinese

don’t be Chinese if you’re not, you’d only do it wrong.  don’t be too tall, lest you’re bound to leap.  don’t be slow if you cross in the middle of the block, cane in hand. (then) (take a breath)  that’s my son!, said following the twisting running hollering boy.  about right for relationship, one full breath after another one.  father hurries along.  some things are right, some things are hidden.  it’s a matter of being ripe.  
desire don’t always count the way we think it does.


china walks round the corner past the bank.
china is a woman this time.
china wears a jacket that’s grown very old,
now faded red, like her hair, faded thin.
china doesn’t look at me.
china’s thoughts are a hidden wall.
china lets time pass, walking ahead of her.
out of sight china turns, comes back home.
china draws a circle in the sky of her feet.
china has only silent words today.

if I were an Asian mother walking down the street

here, here look at my son.
he is larger than me.  much.  larger than my husband too.  larger than either of us.
I hold my husband’s hand as we walk to market down the late morning street, my arm within my son’s arm.
sometimes my son steps out ahead, as when we cross the street, but then soon he is back at my side.
I walk down the street in between my husband and my son, hand in hand, arm in arm.  here’s my son.  my gratitude.