Dim Sum In Chinatown

We met at ten thirty

on a Sunday morning for Dim Sum (a bit of heart)

at a busy Chinatown restaurant.

The Yum Cha (drinking tea) experience

brought me back to China. To the trip of a lifetime.

To an industrious

dynamic people with

backs bent in two

using simple tools

to rebuild

modern cities

reeking of

inadequate plumbing

garbage-strewn harbors.

To take note

of these proud inhabitants of decay

from my five-star hotel room

with the hazy blackened view.

Where West encounters East

and rich confronts poor.

Where West attempts to touch East.

I watch as Tai Chi is practiced in the park

a woman squats to pee in the gutter

the ever present traffic snarl

as thousands of Schwinn’s converge

balancing entire world’s on their handlebars

Noting that the birds have been relinquished to cages

the congestion of food markets

and very few trees to block out the squalor.

And yet somewhere

inside the rubble

lies the heart

of these proud


As inside

a wrapper of

translucent rice flour


with pork,

shrimp and


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