Poetry / December 2017 (Issue 38)

The Tai Chi Master

by Tse Hao Guang

Peering down at a man who I am told
did tai chi mornings, I must have for I am told
told grandma, and she understood.

I am told there is a balance to all things
just like pebbles skimming on pools
like the angle of feet, or so I am told.

To tai chi also means to shift the blame,
stance held, then at once swept clean
to another, another place, angle, stone.

We left because it was returning to China,
I am told, so no more master, no one
defining style of taking the flighty task

of telling a history of self and skipping it
clear across the water, thousands of such skips
in all, to the place where I am told

what the other meaning of tai chi is.
Maybe grandma blames me for no
longer understanding, but look:

his feet root, hands pattern chaos, still
balanced as genealogies roll from
shoulder to shoulder. Who showed him how?
Editors' Note:
"The Tai Chi Master" first appeared in
Deeds of Light (Math Paper Press, 2015).
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.