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I was awakened at midnight

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I was awakened at midnight

not by loud starlight, but 

this emerald melody 

recognized by   

my closed eyes: 

a shower on the long hair 

of willows neatly cut 

by a spring breeze; the wet kisses 

upon timid lips 

of summer lotus, their green 

skirts embroidered 

with polka dots 

& dragonfly wings; 

a practice of calligraphy strokes 

on rice-papered autumn windows

fiercely flamed 

by maple & ginkgo. 

A familiar soundtrack  

of pitter-patter  

in my childhood hometown; 

but a rare treat 


in California.

©Jiang Pu

This poem appears in California Quarterly: vol. 49: 2, 2023. 

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