Anthrow Circus

from A Journal of the Year of the Tiger

POEM BY DANIEL GLEASON


We take off our shoes before entering our host’s house

to celebrate the last day of the first week

of the Year of the Tiger

We eat tiny dried shrimp
and a brown 1,000-year-old egg

On the thin walls hang a son’s diploma,
a map of Dayton TN and the Ten Commandments

In the corner sits a shrine with a Buddha figurine
flowers, fruit, and a picture of ancestors

Our host repeats understand understand understand
This is the one word I like best in English

We listen to a poem recited in Vietnamese
We listen to the same poem recited in English

That night my father visits me in a dream
He asks me Am I doing this right?

His face transforms into my face at right?
Understand—Understand—Understand


DANIEL GLEASON

Daniel Gleason lives in Dayton, Tennessee, where he teaches literature, composition, and creative writing at Bryan College.  He earned a Ph.D. at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and his poems have appeared in Rattle, South Carolina Review, The Cresset, and elsewhere. 

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