Lu Chen

To Grandma Wei

Birds. Cicadas. Wind. Snow.

I did not know my Grandma’s name
until my Grandpa passed away
Wrinkles grey short her

Her mother was born in the Qing Dynasty
Her daughter was born in Cultural Revolution

I was luckily born right
before the new century. A century she has
never dreamed about
          She probably never spoke
                                     any Mandarin before
                But she speaks it for me
I learned Taiwanese from her
                               I speak Taiwanese from bud
                                                                               to blossom
But I am still not good at it
  Different pin points on the China map
    On the world map
       Wooden altar, incense-burning, blue smoke
        She prays for me, in front of Buddha

Thereafter, my hometown only has Summer and Winter,
but no more Spring and Fall.

Grandma, I will come back. Petals on green sheets.
Grandma, I will come back. Milk is spilled on the ground.


Sitting on that wooden chair
                       Traveled from ancient times

Fireworks paint the canvas of blackness with stars
        Spring Festival Night

Cooking chubby white dumplings, swimming in the soup
        Never forget

Yellow fried non-Americanized spring rolls in everyone’s stomachs
                 Touch, hug, kiss, 爱你

See her only in Summer and Winter.      I have waited for
you the whole time.            回家.                  The ultimate        
dream that I only have.          我想你.              The words
she pronounces the best.      Sailing in       the moonlight,
Encountering strong                wind.         Countless stars.

I am going home
See you

Inspired by the foundation sculpture made by undergraduate student Elizabeth White from College of Fine Arts at Boston University.

一点点: Just a little
好: Ok
你什么时候回来?: When will you come back?
爱你: Love you
回家: Coming back home
我想你: I miss you
再见: See you / we will meet again

Lu Chen is a second-year student, studying Nutritional Sciences, in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and comes from Shanghai, China. Besides some articles published in online journals and social media platforms, her poetry work has not been published. She likes Chinese history and culture, so she often integrates them into her poems.