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Volume 10 • Number 1 • Summer 2018

Diane Giardi

Walking Cabbages
Morning Fishing


Walking Cabbages

Han Bing walks cabbages,
cabbages on wheels,
pulling them with ropes
like red wagons
through paved city streets
and narrow dirt roads.
Walking them with honor,
for ten years, so far,
through ten countries already,
questioning objects we value,
relationships, behaviors,
what is right, wrong.
The multi-leaf crucifer
holds layers of meaning,
“future”, “innocence”
in Chinese lore, and in the language
the word itself sounds like
“a hundred” and “the color white”.
Ming parades the body in full view,
full grace,
under glares and
Rolling past scrutiny,
the ruffled skin absorbs sun
and soot and turns corners
getting noticed.
Then there is the flattery,
the flattery of followers,
the ones that decide
to walk a cabbage too
or maybe a radish,
joining in the entertainment of
and the incredible.

Morning Fishing

She is speaking too loud
for any fish to bite, so I
switch my goal from perch
to patient listener.

Below the water, the line,
on the line, the hook,
on the hook, the fly.

She accentuates and punctuates,
the water reverberates.
I sigh, nod and offer repellant
for numerous no-see-ums.

And pull on the line with the hook and the fly
and the rock seat is boulder hard,
the sky dark as denim.
Her stories run rampant over aunts and colleagues
and unappreciative bosses.

Under the surface I see a silver-toned bass,
slide so slowly and seamlessly
and her irritation now sadness
and I must have missed something
as her tears fleck the water’s surface
above the line with the hook and the fly.

And I see the no-see-ums
and I hear the sorrow in her escalating voice
as I try to decipher meaning
as I gaze at the perch swimming by
my line,
and fly.

Diane Giardi, M.F.A, is an Artist, Arts Educator and Poet, who lives with her husband on the East End of Long Island. She is The Education Director at East End Arts. Her poetry has been published in the Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, Long Island Sounds, The Journal of Clinical Nursing, The Endicott Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Nassau Review, Moon Magazine, The Path Magazine, The Wilderness House Literary Review, From The Depths, Ann Arbor Review, Dovetails Publishing and Minerva Press, among others.