A dear friend sent me a poem she wrote over twenty years ago. It was one of her first efforts and she describes it as “primitive, as poems go.” I never knew about it until a couple days ago, and I think it’s wonderful . Ruby has become a serious, dedicated poet over the years and I’m honored that she wrote a poem about me and Mien Shiang. I am thrilled that she sent it and want to share it with everyone. Thank you, Ruby!
For My friend, a Chinese Face Reader
Having studied with an old Chinese man
in her formative years,
She can tell you what your high brow means,
or the shape and size of your ears
Big or small can indicate the degree of risk you’re
And the shape of your face — are you water, earth, fire,
metal or wood?
Your eyes — large, small, almond or round, fierce
Your nose, your ancestry, your courage, your character
Your mouth, full, thin, pursed, wide, generous,
determined and your chin — strong, weak, stubborn,
We are yin and yang and she tells us to be glad
of the imbalance in ourselves.
To notice what our strong points are — this is her gift
To help people; tell them of what their faces show
To help them maximize their strengths
Know what the faces around them indicate
so we can find balance — in our partners, our co-workers…
so we can live better, simple as that
if that’s simple. . . at all,