Still Life and Two Other Poems

by Anna Yin

Still Life

A painting of fruit hangs
on the wall of our living room.
Morning sun seldom comes here.
Moon offers a drowsy face.

Awake at midnight,
I find my silhouette drifting
on the waiting apples.

I mourn for them,
no better than their succulenceon a kitchen plate—

Either they face the knife
or wait to decay.

 

From “Wings Toward Sunlight” (Mosaic Press 2011), it was selected to be displayed on 700 buses across Canada for the Poetry In Transit project.

 

The Only One

I do know the silence,
since I talk a lot in silence.
There are colours in it;
I name each as my siblings.

But I am the only child.
I don’t have anyone to fight
or to accompany.
God says, we are all the same, brothers and sisters.
But he too is lost, and the lonely one.

As I walk with my shadow
I think of his journey.
I wonder
how he could carry all the burdens.

The road in front grows foggy.

 

From Inhaling the Silence (Mosaic Press 2013)

 

For Li Qing Zhao

I cup your shadow
with blue fire;
across the ocean,
the wind tastes more salty.

The white is whiter,
and whiter…
the cold is colder,
and colder…
In the early autumn,
I fail to explain to those
who read your poems in accents.

They chase me with questions―
how we Chinese women,
footsteps no sound,
hairbun so high,
shy away from strangers.

Well, clouds are overhead.
I catch ink drops
on my skin―
a trace of moon.

 

First appeared in Rice Pager Magazine

Editor’s Note on Still Life and Two Other poems

Still Life and Two Other Poems is not Anna Yin’s first piece in Eastlit. The following pieces of work have appeared in earlier Eastlit issues:

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