Poetry from Changming Yuan

Walking with Father: For Yuan Hongqi

Image by Frank Lindecke via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

Image by Frank Lindecke via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

One thing I forgot to mention, Dad
Is I intentionally moved either before
Or behind you, each time we happened
To be walking together. That way, you could
Neither pinch my arm not slap my face
So readily; otherwise, you would have to
Embarrass yourself if you ran forward
Or waited to do so, as you tried to
Educate me in anger. Since my departure
From you, from my home town
On the other side of this world
How often have I hoped to walk again, just once
Side by side with you, getting or offering support
Whenever either of us needed it

But now I could only follow your footprints behind
Step by step, while you wait to beat me in heaven, smiling.


Changming Yuan, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in a remote village, began to learn English at 19, and published several monographs before leaving China. Currently, Yuan tutors and co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. His poetry appears in 899 literary publications across 30 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry (2009;12;14), BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine and Threepenny Review.

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