Thursday, April 25, 2013

Joyce Lee Wong - Wedding Photo

Wedding Photo        Richmond, Virginia
Joyce Lee Wong

Just married,
poised on the courthouse steps
Baba wears a suit and tie
and Mama has on
a sky-blue dress.

A smile blooms on Mama’s lips
as she looks past the photographer,
her eyes fixed on something in the distance,
giving her face a dreamy look.
Does she miss her sisters and brothers,
her parents in Taipei?
Does she imagine
the sharp floral notes of incense,
the rub of silk,
as the courthouse tulips dance,
bobbing their scarlet and yellow heads
with the gusting April wind?

Baba turns toward her,
offering his arm,
his hand over hers,
his touch careful
as if he were holding something
as an egg,
its shell shining
impossibly blue;
a robin’s nest,
its intricate tangle of twigs
forming an airy house
in the pines;
or the first dogwoods
tender and new,
green as hope,
white as a promise.

©Joyce Lee Wong. All rights reserved.

Wanna know how to make Greg happy? Do what Joyce Lee Wong did when she asked if I wanted to use the above poem... which had been cut from her novel in verse Seeing Emily. Uh... yes! Not only do I get to revisit the world of her fabulous debut, but the poem, clearly, stands wonderfully on its own.

I find the language of Wedding Photo so evocative - the strong, fresh images and way the words just work together and pull me in. Add in the depth in the writing as well and I think you can see why she was the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award winner in 2007. If you haven't found Seeing Emily before, you should go read it... then come back and add this poem into the story.

Joyce Lee Wong is another one of the contributors to last year's Dare to Dream anthology, and is someone whose work I always look forward to reading. I look forward to whatever comes next, and I'm thrilled to have her here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, we had Under the Awning/Debajo del Toldo from Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Tomorrow... G. Neri with June Bug Bash! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Anonymous said...

This is a lovely poem with a vivid image of the insecurity and hope of a first marriage. I love the metaphor of the robin's egg. I will definitely look up her book.
I have enjoyed all the poems you are posting. Thanks for introducing this marvelous poets.

laurasalas said...

Well, this is just stunning. Wow. So delicate and sharp and full of spring promise.

Off to find Seeing Emily...thanks!

Charles Waters said...

That poem was cut? Wow. Can't wait to see what was included in the book.

tanita✿davis said...

Ah, lovely - "the rub of silk as the courthouse tulips dance," is one seriously evocative phrase.