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Posts Tagged ‘Floyd Cheung’

Los Angeles and Hong Kong: two poems

January 20, 2011 6 comments

by Floyd Cheung

 

At Queen’s Bakery, Los Angeles

In my mind’s Cantonese,
my favorite pastry sounds
like the words I know for
assassinate ride horse:

Saat keh mah
syllables spliced together
from Chinese gangster films.

The worker points and says,
You mean rice puffs?
I nod but think of the hero shot dead,
his rickshaw driver oblivious.

 

On Jogging in Hong Kong with My Daughter

Five years ago, I jogged alone—
my first visit to the land of my birth
after a long absence.
I noted the tai chi practitioners’ slow elegance,
toddlers’ first steps,
old folks sitting still,
other joggers apparently not noticing me—
a rare sensation
in Western Massachusetts,
where neighbors make assumptions
about where I’m from,
what I do, who I am.

Today, my daughter jogs with me.
She notes the birds,
asks what kind they are.
I don’t know their species,
but we conclude
that they are Chinese.

*

NOTE: This poem originally appeared in The Aurorean.


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Floyd Cheung was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Las Vegas. He teaches at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in the Apple Valley Review, the Bryant Literary Review, the Naugatuck River Review, Rhino, and other journals.

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