(And It Is Here)

Author | Margaret Siu

You call it “fraternity”
with a historical handshake of sixty-six years
between a drunk and a tiger.

You call it “fraternity”
with an august rainbow of sixteen hundred missiles
aimed at a field of sunflowers.

Yes, you give a damn about
a yam-shaped island—
who has her own tongue
her own protests
her own presidents
her own newspapers
—for the sake of your ‘middle kingdom’ pride
she still can’t just raise a flag
and say her own name under it.

No, it must be the Republic of China.

This is my Formosa:
Perusing the incandescence of bustling night markets,
absent-minded as the koi mirroring gold flecks on sidewalks,
Chasing after five obnoxious children
with plastic cups of boba giggling in our hands.
Wafts of freshly pounded ginsengs waft from shops,
the mahjong table is sticky with spilled fruits
and piled tall with magazines from every nation.
Sounds of Hokkien, Mandarin, and English
trace remnants of dong-gua tea on the edges of our mouths
and peel little pearls of long-yen from their cases
leisurely mounting a copper castle of shells on the kitchen table

—and it is here
I know all the while
“fraternity” is the tensity
before the sunset storms and after
sleepless tempests there will be

nothing left of the banyan tree we swung on,
the streets will be stilled and thickened with Beijing smog,
newspapers will crumple in stale gutters
and that is no place for summer children.

Missiles will rain on sunflower fields when
Chinese Taipei brazenly shakes Mainland’s hand,
raises her colors, and calls herself “Taiwan.”

What of “fraternity”?


About the Author | Margaret Siu is majoring in Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas and has a certificate in Mandarin Chinese from the National Taiwan Normal University (國立臺灣師範大學). Siu is the founder and Editor in Chief for international, multimedia publication Apricity Magazine; in addition, she has published two poetry and art anthologies: "In the Mirror" and "For Revolution". She is a recipient of the Brown University Book Award, multiple Gold and Silver Keys from the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards for her art and poetry, and an University Interscholastic League Journalism 1st Place Award for her Features Story. Siu has also been published in the Critical Pass Review for her work. Siu is an avid fan of Naomi Shihab Nye, Mong-Lan, and Lin Manuel Miranda--those who endeavor to narrate their cultures through verse.