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,
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
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.