Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Sunday Poet: Pui Ying Wong

Pui Ying Wong was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of a full length book of poetry Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books, 2010), two chapbooks: Mementos (Finishing Line Press, 2007), Sonnet for a New Country (Pudding House Press, 2008) and her poems have appeared in Angle Poetry (U.K.), The Brooklyner, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong), Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Crannog (Ireland), Desde Hong Kong: poets in conversation with Octavio Paz, Chameleon Press (Hong Kong), Pirene’s Fountain, Prairie Schooner, The Southampton Review and 2Bridges Review among others. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband.  She recently won the PUSHCART PRIZE for her poetry and is a member of the Somerville Bagel Bards



That winter, water froze in the pipes
and the faucet wheezed like asthma.

Icicles teethed along the power line,
I opened my mouth and my speech stuttered.

The entire city lived in a snow globe,
even big men trod timidly in the wind, hiding their faces
like shamed felons caught by the TV camera.

The market sold out everything,
a young boy snatched the last pack of meat.

Sleet fell all night, tapping
on the windows the way the dead might.

In my dream I went back to the house
that had forgotten about me,
not one there asked how I’d been. 

But I sat with them just the same,
watching TV like I had never left.

Who will remember what, who can say?

Mornings punctured by sounds of dragging snowplows,
I peeped at the sun, the feeble white disc,
failed again to burn off the clouds.

It was so cold I could think of fire
and only fire.

First published in deComp 

Pui Ying Wong

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