K. K. Todorovich
after a poem by Hang Hung, T’ang Dynasty
During these rains
Our corn seedlings, tomato
Blossoms and the pepper
(Whose grandmother lived in Hungary)
Will a speedy recovery of the May sun.
Coastal winds shake the ribbons
Of strawberries like green
Peking ducks considering flight.
I wonder why the sweet onions you
Sowed last spring still stand. Big seed
Head too tough for food, bowing now.
I cannot bear to pull them
Up, admit they are compost.
Drab fledglings of the scarlet finch test
Our shallow pool. Their bathing splashes music
Over our curved garden of stone and memory. I
Wonder why you let floods carry you downstream
Into the undergrowth, down the easy way, where
You knew lay darkness. You could swim.
Twilight lingers forever now, way past your
Bedtime. The ginko, the birch, your black
Pine tore and broke, but outstood February storms.
Where you raced with the dogs and
Fell laughing, the lawn holds your path.
Your new red bicycle hangs
Below the eaves of the potting shed as if
In warning to other children.
The beauty of jin is an ancient truth, still true. Joy
At triumph over onslaught
Over odds. Return.
Copyright 1997, K. K. Todorovich
K. K. Todorovich’s draws on her Eastern Washington farming background for much of her work. She works in the poetry performance group The Sound of Three Hawks, was co-founder of Around the Sound Productions, editor of the anthology Eat Your Mind, and co-founder of the Cedar River Poetry Society. Recent publications are included in Expressions and Maverick Press; the latter, a play-poem, received a Pushcart Prize nomination.
Thematic Contents / Vol. 3, No. 1
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