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Jul 2014
I met Grandfather at a Taiwanese bookstore.

For some reason,
We were the only ones staring
At the decrepit
Poetry section
In this, brand new
Four-story library.

He was grinning as if
The teeth in his mouth
Was real again.

And I couldn't help but
Smile with him too, this
Old man

Who stuck his hands in
His pockets and slouched
Over books just like
I once did.

Who couldn't speak a word of
English, but who

Over and over again muttered
The name "Auden,"
As to signal to me

That he knew exactly what
Was going on here.

Nodded vigorously at meβ€”
Told me he'd met him once, before.
In a book.
Probably in Cantoneseβ€”
I wonder how it sounded to him?

I wonder how I sounded?
Peering over him
Like a sprightlier shadow,
Also muttering to himself
"Auden, Auden,"

As if trying to remember.

I think,
When I grow up,
I would like to be
An old man someday.
Jedd Ong
Written by
Jedd Ong
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