Kuo Zhang

Jiu Cai–A Wish for Longevity and Wealth

I bought a dozen jiu cai roots online,
planted them in a big flower pot.

In northern China,
you can find it at any vegetable stand.

Stir fry with bean sprouts,
or eggs, or shredded pork.

In mid-April,
they were still green housed
to survive the ice cold nights
of western Colorado.

We can finally have dumplings
for the next Chinese New Year,
stuffed with jiu cai.

We’ll cut all the strips of leaves,
leave the roots only.

One month later,
they’ll grow as tall as before.

Kuo Zhang is a faculty member at the University of Vermont. She has a bilingual book of poetry in Chinese and English, Broadleaves (Shenyang Press). Her poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Coffin Bell Journal, Lily Poetry Review, Mom Egg Review, Bone Bouquet, K’in, North Dakota Quarterly, Rigorous, Adanna Literary Journal, and MUTHA Magazine.

Previous: Salvatore Difalco • Issue 17 • Next: Bryan D. Price