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?
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.