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Dancing with Crane

Dancing with Crane
by Changming Yuan


I show her how to move her steps
But she’s much too timid
Worse still, she cannot coordinate with my movements
Although she dances with me, to an unheard melody
It’s her own music she’s dancing to

She likes the way I hold her
Even lets me kiss her shoulder from time to time
so richly white and velvety
But she always keeps me at bill’s length
Each time I come closer
She backs off with a glaring scream

What have I done so wrong?
What is in her mind?
Jumping off the stage
She shows her best, which is a scarlet crest
Like plum petals blown onto the wall of west
I beg her to return
So she did, but only to depart from me again

Outside the spotlight
She begins to beat her wide wings against my blue wishes
Her eyes sparkling, as if saying to me
I have my neck and legs
Both too thin and too long to be your partner here

In this cage-like hall
Worse still, she’s much too timid

* * *

Changming Yuan grew up in rural China, authored several books before moving to Canada, and currently teaches writing in Vancouver. Yuan's poems (are to) appear in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry (2009), the Cortland Review, Exquisite Corpse, the London Magazine and nearly 200 other literary publications worldwide; his first collection Chansons of a Chinaman has recently been released by Leaf Garden Press.


Amy said...

This was lovely
I'll keep an eye out for your book. I would love to read more.