The photo shows
a Chinese-American woman approaching thirty, under five foot tall,
a Norwegian-born man in his forties, way over six foot.
Yet, side by side on our sofa, with our cat nestled between them
they look the perfect couple.
I have to send her this photo,
but she has moved I donít know where.
I emailed her parents for her address
saying only that I have a photo for her.
The immediate reply: Guniang is moving again.
Send the photo to us.
Soon afterward, Guniangís message came:
Donít tell my father youíve met Olaf.
In Chinese culture itís an insult
for the fatherís friend to meet the boyfriend
before the father. My parents oppose our dating,
but soon weíll be married. Iíve committed
no crime. Olaf makes me happy.
Which email should I answer? Isnít my loyalty
to her family, friends since Guniang was a toddler
sitting on her motherís lap at our dinner table?
But then Iíve always questioned the myth
of parental wisdom. My own father tried
to prevent my marriageónow in its forty-fourth yearó-
even recruited my uncle and brother to convince me
marriage is overrated, sex is better outside marriage.
I never forget that when young Chinese and Korean
colleagues talk about their successful arranged marriages.
Or maybe Iím just a troublemaker, wondering
what will happen if I tell her parents.
Or maybe I relish the role of Friar Lawrence
to a twenty-first century Romeo and Juliet.
March winds give the earth a shake
coaxing nature to awake.
Grass greens up in freshening rain;
we hear the robins' sweet refrain.
Yellow and purple flowers glow
through the quickly melting snow.
Spring has come with bursts of blooms
as winds of March play wake up tunes.
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