each time i pare my nail
i feel deeply grateful
for its unselfish readiness
to die in my stead
sparing me the keen sense
of the unbearable pain of growth
out of those parts of me
always younger
more romantic
and much more memorable
spread randomly
like unnoticeable seeds
sown in the spring soil


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 August 21, 2013