By J’Ann Schoonmaker Allen
Pink, white, and yellow paper lanterns,
Candle lit and strung between metal bars
Decorate this temple yard.
Scents of incense, dried fish,
Cooked beetles, western breath, and
Fill the cool night air.
A bowing child moves fluidly,
Matching halmoni’s graceful body
For beat while Golden Buddha watches.
Monks, cloaked in brown from shaved head
To saddles, carry brass cymbals,
To some ancient rhythm.
Sightseers, sated, perhaps, depart,
Behind the one
Before. The monks remain.