Adrienne Su

China II

At first it was a void from which the key people had come.
Then it was an underworld from which few ascended,
And then it was a land of burning cities from which sons could not carry their fathers.

The terraced earth had a life only in photo essays, later in films.
I did not know it was being shaped by visionaries who had everything wrong,
Nor that the shape had been drawn by my own cramped vision.

Many around me preferred garden photography to real gardens; we got along fine.
We spoke only good. I never expected to walk into a garden eventually
Or to find it full of wasps, or myself at a loss to describe the animals, or the sound of the water.


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