The Moment I Pick Up A Powerful Nation This Little Poem Of Mine Goes Right by Changming Yuan

Only recently did I become alert to how
I resemble uncle Sam. They – it? – don’t
Like China. I don’t like China either
(Though not for the same reasons.) They try
To reap cash in all prospering economies; I
Try to gather every penny from the corner
Wherever I can see and lay my humble hands
They hold high their banners of democracy
And human rights; I like my rights and detest
Dictatorship (though perhaps for different
Purposes.) In particular, they enjoy bullying
The weak, dodging the strong, disturbing
Waters to fish and using dirty tricks to keep
All others down; I am ready to say foul words
To do whatever possible to rise above myself
In this harshest human condition, although I
Was not born to be a villain. The only difference
Lies in the degree to which I am selfish, villainous
Hypercritic, and they–it? — are way more so

Changming Yuan, 9-time Pushcart nominee and one-time Best of the Net nominee, started to learn English at age 19 and published monographs on translation before moving out of China. Currently, Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1249 others.

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