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Yangtze Sonnet: 135

I took a trip through the Three Gorges in August of 2006 after teaching classes at the University of Wuhan for the month of July. I went with some of my teacher colleagues. Here is the first sonnet on the Yangtze that I jotted down in my notebook and completed later on when I got back to New York.

The sun is on the mountaintops and yet
the rain comes in drops so small I’m amazed
the page isn’t wet. The sun has refused
to stop shining on the highest green peak
that looks more than anything like the breast
of a woman with her nipple erect.
Around us the waves ripple and the wind
turns the page like an impatient hand.
We people stand firm against it and don’t blow
away though the flag flutters as well as
the skirt of the woman waving as she
looks down at the rising Yangtze that heaves
and moves our crowded boat just like a moored
bull moaning to break from its ropes and go.

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