| Prelude to Lunch on
The Great China Wall
(see Smithsonian, June issue, 2008.)
Sun Zhenyuan (Sun Jen Ewan), custodian
of the family’s Great Watch Tower knew
to light the signal fire if there had been Tartars
or marauding Mongols but supersonic jets
took a shake of clenched fists.
Dongjiakon (dawng jeen awkon)Village
Where preservation begins on four thousand wall miles
from sandy western desert’s origin
To only forty miles distant from the Hobai (aw bi) Sea
The crumbling old wall stands waiting.
The Tourist trade might stop the Industrial World
The creeping sand, then pipe in water,
Grow back the trees, send those children
To school without
all the pollution to follow.
But the villagers stay staunch and a few
Vigorously launch their unconcerned sheep
Stare at strangers, ignore the Wall
While the Constable of the Wall now with badge
Levies fines when he has to pick up the trash.
If you have any comments on this poem, L. Fullington would be pleased to hear them.