Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Monday, July 18, 2011

Poetics of Re-homing: A Haibun

where are you from?
maple leaves drifting
here and there

Where is my home? Taipei, the capital of Republic of China (aka Taiwan), with its towering glass office buildings, where I was born and raised, the place I used to complain about? Or County of Mount Dragon in Hunan province, People’s Republic of China, a small town surrounded by waterfalls, mountains, and valleys, my father's home that I've never set foot in?

Taiwan’s moon
caught in Lake Ontario . . .
geese gone south

Or is my home Ajax, Ontario, a bedroom suburb of row upon row of indistinguishable bungalows and front gardens in the richest province of Canada? Here I have a piece of property and continue to struggle with a life in transition and translation.

treading on
my white neighbor's shadow --
illegal alien

Where then is my home?

published in Simply Haiku, Vol 9:2, Summer 2011 (Editor's Choice)