Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Love Story

The aerogram says come      the photos show bliss
Another felicitous union      a fresh beginning
He’s so handsome fat      she’s so new world slim
 
The envelopes are red      the writing vermeil
He’ll get a good job      an iron rice bowl won’t break
She’s caught a princely man      a silent one      like her father
 
Sister dyes pink eggs      Auntie boils cider knuckles
The Great Patriarch is happy      a bouncy grandson
A bundle of joy      from a test tube in heaven
 
Thank you for your blessings      for your lucky lycee
A young nurse cares for her now      in a small hospice near the sea
He’s alone on Silicon Hill      that’s where he’s happy
 
Emails turn silent      Instagrams      remiss
Thank you for the white gardenias      they’ll sweeten her soul
The joss paper boats      will net fish for her in the next world
 

Credit


Copyright © 2017 by Marilyn Chin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 21, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“This immigrant couple’s entire history is told in just five triplet stanzas. I didn’t use punctuation, just spaces so that the reader could pause between breaths, to briefly take in the different stages of their life together. This might be a typical American story: an immigrant couple gets married, the husband gets a good job (an iron rice bowl), they conceive children, grow old, die peacefully in their new nation. However, their story does not quite end in harmonious resolution. A love story is a never-ending drama.”
—Marilyn Chin
 

Author


Marilyn Chin

Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. The author of six poetry collections, she currently serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Date Published: 2017-11-21

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/love-story