doe__eyes (doe__eyes) wrote in moosespresso,

revision of "Sunday Mornings at my Grandmother's House"

basically, i cut the first half of the poem, and that will be its own poem, to be revised soon. this poem is the second half of the original poem with some new material to clarify the issue of the pennies. does it work? i really need help on the end; the last line isn't working right now.


 My grandmother,
            in English that’s still broken after 30 years of speaking it,
            tells me and my cousins to eat in the family room,
and we go, sitting on the chairs and sofas covered in plastic.
The radio blares Vietnamese news,
and there is ornate mahogany wood everywhere–
            dragons and lions carved into the legs of tables,
            a Buddha statue in the corner –
there is one in every room,
            tiny shrines with red incense sticks
            and bowls of oranges that always smell so sweet.
This Buddha is young, thin
            with eyes that follow,
            watching our every move.

And in every room, pennies lie on the floor, tempting me:
            discarded from pockets and purses
            adding to the mystique of my traditional grandparents.
I always wonder about the coins:
            “Don’t touch! They’ll burn holes in you hands!”
            my cousins – wiser, older – warn
I ask my grandmother, but she’s too busy
            making sure everyone eats
So while the adults converse –
            in Vietnamese, sounding like shouting in garbled English –
I go from room to room under Buddha’s vigilant eyes
looking, counting, but never taking –
because I like my hands whole.

But once – just once
            my curiosity, greed
            get the best of me –
                        and my fingers pocket the shiniest penny
                        from the living room floor –
            I avoid meeting young Buddha’s eyes that day
Holding it in my pocket
I wait for it to burn a hole in my hand,
            marking me a thief –
                        I wait for the wrath of Buddha,
                        so young and patient in my eyes,
            his sharp eyes betraying that soft smile
I wait,
            all the while thinking
            that maybe this Buddha guy isn’t so mean
I stare – and the penny winks at me in the light,
            confirming my suspicion

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