Petite goutte d'eau your great uncle calls you
because you are a drop in the middle
of the vast field of your parents' bed,
drop of water that harbors all colors,
where light quivers and expands.
When your black eyes crinkle at the edges
you are an emperor decreeing laughter.
With tiny fingers you topple the bright
nesting cups: the grandmother
who disappeared one night, slipping away
through a back alley in Seoul,
the grandfather who thought he lost
only a war and his years,
and your mother who was abandoned,
who wept because she was like no one
in this world. Carefully you fit them
back together, you wave your hands
with glee. Little acorn
who carries the long shadows of trees,
petite goutte d'eau, mirror
in which your mother comes home.
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Issue #29, October, 2002 :
Santa Fe Poetry Broadside.