It's Thursday evening when my mother calls
and she's exhausted, up before the dawn,
back home well after dusk. We talk around
her day: the trays and drinks, sore feet that need
a salted water rub. Like any son
I think my mother works too hard for me
(but I am young, and childless). When I
was young, she says, in China we would tie
a length of string to dragonflies, to see
them buzz and spark about. The smallest ones
would tug our hands until we set them free.
Her voice against my ear is soft, the sound
made weary from its traveling along
a twisting line, that finds its way through walls.