The People’s Republic of China, 1949

Poetry by Kelly Hao 

You’ve met grandma before, you say, showing me an old photograph. Remember her?  White hair, a vest
to stay warm, face dappled with spots as if the sun, pouring over her face, cried soft tears. Like that time
I turned the page and saw drops inked in the space where someone dies, and from them, a red river. I
remember. I’ve been carried down that river, scraped along the sediments, rolled until a wave tucked
me back on shore, and when I finally looked back, I found you, stopped with your cart in the Asian
grocery, admiring the quantity of candy. They say morning is a beginning, but see there—the
crack of
dawn, the
break of dawn, that cusp of light, was gunfire. So when you set in front of me a jar of golden
candy, strung the sap around two chopsticks, and stretched its silk into string, I met her: a mother
saving honey for her daughter. They say
unfinished is a shortcoming, but see here, the un-finishing.
The shards form a bullet. The shot is in the barrel. The hand releases, and there, in the palm: sunrise. 

About the Author:

Kelly Hao is a graduating senior at The Ohio State University. After graduation, she will continue her education at Ohio State's medical school in hopes of becoming a physician writer. 

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