He fills up another cup for you and smiles,
The smile of the jade Buddha which shines,
greenish grey on his palm unfolding
A divine tiny amulet
made by himself from work scrap.
China has plenty of jobs like jade carving
That could have dragged him away from school at age fifteen.
Regardless how many sticks broken on him, and your desperate shouting.
You dropped out of school at age fourteen,
regardless of your mother’s upheld shoe and weeping.
You too smashed the intellectual dream of your family,
which was too heavy! for the sake of sanity.
You rather become the man for family heavy farming,
see your sisters leave and marry
Your mother had never been to school as Japanese invaders,
looted her hometown and buried alive her parents,
At age seven. Being a daughter of a reputable teacher,
intellectual did not help but a beast had,
She survived under the hay stalk wet by her buffalo,
while the village was lit in fire as a whole.
“Stick with the job,”
You shout, knocking on the table for the authority it holds
The jade Buddha on a red string is heaving on your chest.
You are belching a mixture of peanuts, liquor and roast duck.
Your murmuring muffles,”or I will send you back to books!”
He nods and smiles, like a flint sparks,
The smile of jade Buddha.