Incident At The Beauty World Market

By Anne Tzu Peng Lee

she reminded me of storybook grandmothers
small, sedate lady in sombre grey samfoo
white-hair-neat, soft eyes behind silver lenses
she was tending the shoe stall at the market
when I happened to pass, thinking what a chore
at her time of life to be minding these things
she politely suggests I might care to choose
something nice for myself from her stock of
well-made, pretty comfortable footwear from China
as if being Chinese we somehow should find these
sensibly priced and fitted to our Chinese feet
I was charmed not by beautiful fabric or shape
but her silken sales pitch, in the dialect
we shared, the most courteous of invitations

until an ingenuous urchin ran up
and began to finger the newest display, whereupon
such a vomit spewed forth from the little old mouth
a poisonous stream of obscene revelation
rained on the unlucky head

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Pick Me Up Poetry seeks to be an agent of change in society by fostering cross-cultural dialogue and providing much-needed information and representation for writers and performers. We offer our followers insightful glimpses into cultures around the globe through various mediums including our online articles, poetry collections, spoken-word videos and more. 

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