by Anna Yin
My Father’s Temple
When my father rebuilt his house,
he carved his and my mother’s names
on each stair. My father is not a superstitious or rich man,
with all of us grown up and living far away,
his narrow tall four-floor building
rose with our criticisms of its waste.
My father rolled his eyes, broke his silence:
“Find your own floor and stay longer.”
He winked at us,
“At least none would buy.”
My father’s wisdom was defeated by the city plan.
The officers came along with bulldozers and demanded he leave.
My father climbed up to the roof, and refused to move.
Holding his camera, my father shot his last photo
among the knocked down neighborhood.
I received a copy of the photo in the local newspaper.
My father looked so small on the top of the ruins,
It was titled, “The Last Temple”.
0 1 0 1 0 …
the missing black box
alone at twilight
shadows of an empty nest
sparse twigs overlapped
stopping at a green bench
someone’s name carved
in the stone beside
a flying fish
a river covered with snow
In your email, you mention the celebration –
dancing in glamour to prepare the significant moment.
My fingers tap the familiar word, “Nostalgia”, again,
from this east coast of the Pacific Ocean.
The autumn moon casts its luster on my blue passport —
its wings fly elsewhere:
my hands rise with a solemn oath
and the five-starred red flag flutters my leaping heart.
The returned friends exclaim the events
are grand, forever stunning.
Their mood is cheered up even though
the sky there is too grey.
I pretend that is the excuse for my absence.
Yet at that moment, I long to be there…
I won’t worry about
the plunging stocks
the pollution index in the air
the soaring house prices
and the landless farmers…
Together we applaud and applaud.
Editor’s Note on Anna Yin Poetry
Anna Yin Poetry is not Anna Yin’s first publication in Eastlit. The following pieces of work have appeared in earlier Eastlit issues: