Eating Alone by Li-Young Lee

I’ve pulled the last of the year’s young onions.
The garden is bare now.  The ground is cold,
brown and old.  What is left of the day flames
in the maples at the corner of my
eye.  I turn, a cardinal vanishes.
By the cellar door, I wash the onions,
then drink from the icy metal spigot.

Once, years back, I walked beside my father
among the windfall pears.  I can’t recall
our words.  We may have strolled in silence.  But
I still see him bend that way-left hand braced
on knee, creaky-to lift and hold to my
eye a rotten pear.  In it, a hornet
spun crazily, glazed in slow, glistening juice.

It was my father I saw this morning
waving to me from the trees.  I almost
called to him, until I came close enough
to see the shovel, leaning where I had
left it, in the flickering, deep green shade.

White rice steaming, almost done.  Sweet green peas
fried in onions.  Shrimp braised in sesame
oil and garlic.  And my own loneliness.
What more could I, a young man, want.

Advertisements

One Response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: