Chinese New Year
The dragon snakes up Grant Avenue
accompanied by Chinese lanterns,
her cheeks glowing like a girl in love.
You walked up the slopes of Chinatown,
your sleeveless silk cheongsam
turned my head years ago.
We ate breakfasts in Yuen’s Garden,
shared newspapers and pastries,
fell in love. Tonight I watch
as lion dancers shake and twist
bringing good luck to the shops
and people of Chinatown.
The dragon slips in and out of low clouds
amid the stutter of firecrackers.
The Gods of Wealth
and Happiness stride by on long legs
as the parade vanishes into smoke and fog
towards North Beach. Despite the hoopla,
the optimism ends as the past does,
with spent firecrackers.