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 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
a wrapper of
translucent rice flour