Embrace by Janie StapletonPoecology
Issue 5

Jami Proctor Xu

huangmei, xiacun

     黄梅下村
           *

     i arrive in the season of wheat     first harvest     to be married
        staggered plots on uneven slopes     must be planted and sown by hand

     each seed now a stalk the colors of my hair     the village fields as far as the eye can
see

     in daylight     we walk to the small pond where he swam as a child     where
     he used his hands to search for lotus roots beneath water
     grabbing small snakes instead      each time diving deeper

     now reeds and grasses grow where the water once reached
     the water buffalo roped beside them

     waves of wheat rustle across june wind     i listen     to a dialect
        i don’t yet know

     how to say return home

         hujjia 回家

                ga-kee

     white butterflies pass

     between us, then weave through rows
     corn stalks
     wheat stalks
     standing in the mist

                          huangmei, lower village, south of the river