VESPER May the old roof hold off the rain, the garden staying a garden and not a grave. May there be coffee in the morning cup and sunlight, even a sliver suffices. May there be clean dishes, napkins on the table, two of each. May this house be fortified with memories and the bread of poetry. NEAR CRABAPPLE LANE The mailbox raised Its little red arm The name Johnson Written on the post Behind the fence Two or three dogs jump Their barks reach All the way to the hill In the cemetery ground Of the First Baptist Church Where the headstone Of Mr. J. Johnson Is erected MEMORY OF AN OLD NEIGHBORHOOD Sunday Dinner, a Weekly Meal for the Hungry, a sign on the church door reads. An elderly man hobbles on the sidewalk, trusting neither his aide nor the walker. Letters arrive in my mailbox, get returned to sender. I can’t help anyone, the door is jammed and won’t open.
Pui Ying Wong is the author of two full-length collections of poems: An Emigrant’s Winter (Glass Lyre Press, 2016) and Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books, 2010)—along with two chapbooks. She received a Pushcart Prize. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Plume, The Blue Nib, New Letters, Zone 3, The New York Times, among others. Born in Hong Kong she now lives in Cambridge (MA) with her husband, the poet Tim Suermondt.