Sketches for a Chinese painting: little girls in Battery Park

Pretty as old porcelain, they flit over the bright park grass, calling Hello to the rate clerks on their way to lunch, waving their hands like little fans after the Ralph Lauren shirts and the Gucci shoes.

Born so many thousand miles away, they are at home where they are, counting candies into each other's laps, oblivious of the two rivers North and East, or the distant shapes of freighters on their way to Hong Kong.

Shedding like outgrown smocks all knowledge of rumor and reminiscence (the clopclop of clogs, the running feet of the rickshaw man) they have all they need here - nosegays of bright grass and a thin-slippered grandfather smiling like Confucius from his bench.

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