Thursday, May 9, 2013

From "The Voice of an Alien" by Xiaojin Lenny Jin

Alien Poet

I’m the poet

In the wee hours of the early morning, most of my peers are soundly sleeping. However, this is the best time for me to compose poems with maximized inspiration. My mind springs open with random notions that are then linked together in lyrical rhymes – perhaps an innovative sonnet which is my favorite form – or lyrics that convey humor or a deep emotion. Endowing ideas with concrete images, those poems often make my friends and teachers burst into laughter and they reward me with appreciative winks - I fully cherish those moments.

Alien Anecdote

A visit

Another weekly visit to Old People's home! Life is simple: Mr. Yu smiles and I smile. He is a 93-year-old childless chemist who has Alzheimer's. Again, I'm feeling the coldness from his trembling hands but the warmth from his smiles. Never changed was that old Chemistry Workbook on the desk, also his lack of coherent speech to express his excitement: only smiles.
Mr. Yu loves "Story Section". Only now is he able to recall his memory and deliver a "speech" to a patient listener: me. Although I clearly know every detail about this tale which has been repeated every single time, I will not interrupt as I wish his smile to be eternal. When he mentions children, he lowers his head depressingly. I will hold his hand and share my warmth with him for minutes. That childlike smile never fades from his face as "Story Section" ends. He waves quietly as another seven days start counting down.
Every smile of Mr. Yu gave me more appreciation of helping the elderly, more power of love and happiness.

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