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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 2, June 2019

John Zheng
Itta Bena, Mississippi, USA


When I walked into the ward, grandma held out her frail hands and murmured my name. Her eyes sparkled; her face wrinkled like the venation pattern of a brown sycamore leaf.

gust of wind
birds disperse
like leaves
across the sky
fleeting clouds

She asked me to tell about my life in the Deep South as I massaged the bony hands that raised four kids after my grandfather died of a heart attack. While I recounted, my mind began to flow to my childhood years. Each night before bed grandma would tell me a story.

deep night
bamboos clank
out on the lawn
a yowling cat

Now the autumn sun through the window beamed on grandma’s face. She closed her eyes, but I seemed to catch her blink, like in those nights after she finished a ghost story. I hummed the way she did to me in the old days. Grandma smiled like a sleeping baby.

autumn equinox
moon behind the tree
as if in a cradle
wind a lullaby
rocking gently



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