on a weekday
(I don’t quite recall which one)
we went on a bus
(in Shanghai)
it was early
(but the old folks practicing Taiji had already returned home for breakfast)
and in our shoes pieces of red paper
(to protect us from harm and evil ghosts)
we passed grey landscapes
(the urban ones with hundreds of skyscrapers)
and green valleys
(I thought they were idyllic but my mother reminded me of mosquitos)
we were welcomed by trumpets
(and more loud instruments)
played by local men from the village
(one in a colourful shirt that made me think of vacation and pineapple season)
everything after happened in a rush:
climbing a mountain
carrying red flowers
throwing golden pennies
speaking goodbyes
breaking a little
holding hands
sharing stories
and food
traveling back in time
feeling small
finding souvenirs
making new memories.
and then, finally,
we left knowing
we had brought her home.
(Shaoxing 绍兴 2017)

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