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I am sixty-two my son is twenty-three.

Ying was our student our friend twenty-five on 4 June 1989.

Tian-an-men three thousand dead on the square.

Twenty-six when we bribed her way out of there, when

Tamar and I bribed her way out of there.

She came here, studied, then disappeared.

Our son born six months on.


There have been days, days,
I've told him consequential,
inconsequence meaningful
more than more than once.

And I ask him about her,
Ying, the one
the China one who's
lost, whom I found and freed then

My son is kind, tolerant
holding me in his affectionate eye
Of the mornings
I've said the same
loss the same loss
of a new morning,

"I lost her after finding her in that bloody rubble."

"I let her become lost."
"Dad. You got her out."
"And lost. Let her be lost."

sequoia of a young man
is this son.

My life's tripwires
come without herald
no stepping back
across the lines.

I find myself saying again finding having found
scores of far-off friends
close friends, early and late,
whom I'd let disappear ages since.

Still Ying's unfound,
remains unfound,
she's the one,
one unfound,
one we spirited from Peking
from the Massacre,
Lost again she remains unfound.
Lost and I am to blame.
Was it this morning?

Exuberance in finding my found friend
I am imagining or not imagining
having found her not found her
among the many lost
I have found?

Telling my son of her
again again
about her again not twice
this morning
three times
In half an hour
Without, by noon,
recall of having said it

He's not
doubting me.
I ask him have I done
all I could.


After she left us in Vermont
years lost years my
thousand inquiries
London Cardiff
a way
be a way
Thunder Bay
New York

Could have done more.

Have I asked him this
this morning?

He smiles.
He pats my head.
I imagine him

He says, "Dad.
You will find her."

He pats my head.
He winks.
He rubs my head. He musses my hair.

"Make Yourself Crazy with This, Dad?
The Happiest Day of the Week in the Home is Jello Day."

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