Lin

The third generation of a Chinese tragedy
Unblemished by sorrow
Yet rooted deeply in it
Here the sky is blue
And the branches are lush with green
 
One great uncle 
Swept away by a cultural revolution
Killed
To build upon a pillar for others
Only a tear staining the heart of a mother

Passion
Where the teeth bite in two
Sweet pleasure 
Until love is nothing but a formality

Two uncles
Lost to another father in another land
Gone
Never heard from or seen again
 
Tragedy
Till good fortune rises in the west
America
Where freedom lives in the prodigy's eyes
And dies in the failure's heart
As love seeps away from the corners
Of grievous eyes
Hardened by years of struggle
 
Grandfather died
Too young he left
Leaving only his ashen photos of Chiang Kai-shek
And a German name
Like a sewing machine
 
Grandmother left
Abandoned
Leaving only the inadvertent product culture brings
The years of hopes
Expectations
Rice and obedience
A middle name so ridiculous
In order to seem American
 
Da
The Chinese word for big
 
Third generation
Product of Chinese ancestry
Chinese tragedy
Knowing nothing but the stories
Of old lao lao
Left little but a middle name
 
Lin
The name of a mother
Of mother's mother's maiden name
Of family reaching back
Before the communist era
And now of a child
American
Happy
Fulfilling all of the lost grandmother's dreams
Learning more than just curse words
In Mandarin Chinese
 
Lin
Just a middle name
Passed on to the generation
Traveling back to the roots
To search for the grandmother
Gone
The uncles
Lost
The old ancestry
Forgotten
 
Lin
Chinese for forest
Searching for trees
 

The End

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