March 5, 2008

Hump Day Poetry: Priscilla Lee

Posted in Poetry at 9:20 pm by The Lizard Queen

Prayers to Buddha

You are the sun that rises above water
the jade buried in stone
a woman who gives birth to sons

My grandmother reads
from the almanac of life
tucked under my bed
since the year I was born.

I am the gypsy child she raised,
more important
than her own children,
I cannot be labeled by a number.

For me she lights incense daily,
picks one Chinese character
and counts two rounds of five fingertips
until her eyebrows no longer twitch
and she knows

I am safe from men
with heads but no tails
who want to draw
circles with their right hand
squares with their left.

These men, she says,
can only pray to Buddha
for salvation, journey through snow
in thin-soled shoes, cross
the mud-bridge.
They cannot offer the life
her prophecy commands.

—Priscilla Lee, 2000


  1. gye nyame said,

    good poem- hope you are well!

  2. josh said,

    my name is Josh and i read a poem for school by Ms. Lee called “Beneath the Surface”. i was wondering why she wrote a poem about barracudas. is her father a fisherman? thanks.

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