and in the shop…
In an oval of Han imperial jade,
a coiled dragon rose from the dark green stone,
its raised head crowned the carving.
A creature mediating between worlds.
For years it had hung near her father’s heart.
The moon was full, the sea rough.
The sharks and surfers stayed away.
But no, his auspicious amulet would never
be ripped by the muscular waves. Bleeding,
we tumbled out, stung by the slap of the salt.
We looked for it, the tide sucking
pebbles back as quickly as we turned them over,
like when she was born we searched
for reasons, unreasons, threads of causality,
for the differences she kept revealing,
sought answers from what we gleaned
doctors couldn’t or wouldn’t say.
Later learnt they didn’t know.
In those early days, someone remarked,
as people do when almost all seems lost,
that of course she’d be fine, after all
hers was the year of the dragon,
the most auspicious of all.
But instead of accepting a universe
of chaotic events, I go back
to the roar on that Pacific beach,
to make sense of luck, of what nature
grabbed one year, gave back the next.