…who gave up a daughter found under
an overpass in Changsha, Hunan province,
May 22, 2009
She will never know the name you gave her
or the date you pushed her into the world,
though deep in her cells she holds a glimmer
of you and her father; in some dream time
she feels you still, perhaps your arms around her.
And you must have wanted someone to find her,
left, as she was, under an overpass where people
bicycled and walked and motorbiked. Someone
must have heard her cry and found her, picked up
her half-moon body, bent from birth,
her heels almost touching the back of her head.
Someone knew where to take her—
to a place of butterflies—
where some children morph into spirit
while others burst from their cocoons and thrive,
and your daughter thrived. She grew,
hands clenched and ankles crossed, and she grinned
her megawatt smile and people fell in love with her,
the little one someone named Long Xin Zi,
Joyful Purple Dragon,
taller now and called Annie by her new mama
who brought her to a far-away land where
the summers are hot but not humid,
winters are cold but not frozen, where she will
go to school and learn a new language and continue
to thrive, to be the best Annie she can be.
And she will achieve things you could not imagine for her,
though she will not know your name or the stories
of your people. Her new mama will make sure she keeps
her Mandarin as well as acquiring English, that she
remembers paper-thin rice noodles and yummy dumplings.
She will retain China in her bones.
And your daughter will close her eyes
and dream you every night, as you dream her—
she is with you always, thankful for every miracle
bestowed, not least her emergence
from the cocoon of you.
(#22 in the Annie series)