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SWEET-POTATO MAN

百分之一学文网来源: https://www.ksair.com.tw 2020-04-12 11:09英文诗 548 ℃
SWEET-POTATO MAN
 
By Zhang Xinquan            
 
 
 
To roast sweet potatoes,
 
he selects the finest ones that speak to him,
 
places them in a barrel-shaped oven,
 
and arranges them to get snug and cozy along the oven's wall
 
in a circle, stretching, sweating,
 
just like poets. Aah! Aa! Ouch!
 
roasted over coals, they slowly turn soft, aromatic, sweet,
 
moans and sighs are now softer, giving steamy scents,
 
Mmm...
 
Before considering it done, he’d make sure
 
everyone is evenly roasted front and back
 
until he too becomes an ember-roasted sweet potato.
 
The red glow on his face and his coarse garment
 
has me awestruck,
 
so I huddle close to the oven and listen to his stories.
 
When he is flat out, I handle the money and change,
 
sharing his simple fare of strong tea and baked sesame bread.
 
 
 
It's dusk and I ride with him on his sweet-potato cart to go home.
 
Q: What do you do, my gray-haired big brother?
 
A: I write, paid by number of words, a few decades now.
 
He chuckles and says: "Far better to code sweet potatoes.
 
Change job, better to be a sweet, warm-hearted street pedlar..."

Tags: 张新泉

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