Photograph

She was not quite two when she arrived from Korea, another girl not needed there as sons are needed.

The day was cold as the silence of temple bells on a windless night.

The camera caught us - Mei Ping's moon face chocolate eyes bittersweet haiku child my outstretched hands no common language between us.

My tongue fumbled a much-practiced greeting; words scattered, bounced away like a broken bag of marbles.

I tied a silk ribbon warmed by my hands into her hair.

The sun set early. At the other end of the concourse, someone was singing. On our way to the car we stumbled on stars, caught ourselves; in the falling moonlight our shadows touched.

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