Recollections of a Banana

I poke at mother’s steaming dumplings (laid on one of those fancy china plates)

with a pair of chopsticks. She then scolds me for my improper use of the chopsticks;

my cloddish grip,

my butter-fingers,

the way my dumpling-prodding is unsightly. Apparently, I am

never to use chopsticks like this again.

Mother iterates this like the chiding I have earnt is parable;

Unwittingly, I cut into her hemming and hawing,

brutishly, unanchored – like how I held the chopsticks.

Then why don’t I just eat the dumplings with a fork?

Her response is short and punchy, like what poetry websites want

in contributors’ submissions’;

 

                        How dare you

say that? Then don’t eat dumplings, don’t eat dinner – eat air with a fork!

My face crumples,

but I go on to tell my children How dare you when I realize that my

unsightly prodding,

my butter-fingers,

my cloddish grip

has been passed onto them. Sigh.


I am fourteen years old, easing into the Asian-way of things – fumbling throubh various steamboats and lo heis on Chinese New Year.

This clumsiness is an annual affair.

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