Growth: for Allen Qing Yuan

soon after his fifth birthday
my little allen solemnly promised
to purchase someday
a huge house for mom
a big benz for dad
a mighty motorcycle for bro
and a big pail of paint for grandpa

two birthday cakes before
he often immitated
playing "wild wild west"
with a broken broom
as his electric guitar
and when he was a second grader
he asked me many times
whether he could make big bucks
by becoming a street musician

now he has just blown out his ten candles
finally begun to learn playing guitar
whose sounds he finds really fasinating
although he still cannot keep the right beats
with neither his simple music
nor his feeling about future
nor his past pledges
he is trying hard to play
his the song of his own choice


Mike Yuan, also known as Yuan Zhengming in Chinese, is a 5-time Pushcart nominee and author of two poetry collections. Growing up in a remote and impoverished village in central China, Mike received his post-secondary education in Shanghai and Tianjin, worked as a college lecturer and published several monographs in addition to many journal articles before moving to Canada as an international student. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Mike currently lives and works as a property manager in Vancouver. Since mid-2005, Mike Yuan has had poetry appear in more than 700 literary magazines and anthologies across 27 countries.

Last updated November 27, 2013