Michael Philips

The Best Dumplings In The World - Poem by Michael Philips

With mom spiraling towards death
and us standing around like actors
waiting for stage direction,
Zheng Wei went to work in the kitchen
chopping the cabbage and garlic
preparing the sauce,
We pitched in like Amish,
laughing a little extra
at our clumsy attempts
to roll the dumplings
in a missing man formation
for her to stand there
in the kitchen
rolling and laughing with us
instead of lost under miles of knots.
She would certainly have had a story about this,
about the dumplings she once had in - what was
the name of the place - in Shanghai
where they thought she was a VIP
and showered her with free delicacies.

Zheng Wei lowered the dumplings into the pot.
He could do nothing for my mother
so he made dumplings,
and they tasted like
rescue from a dream of falling

Comments about The Best Dumplings In The World by Michael Philips

  • (10/14/2005 11:09:00 AM)

    Wow, Michael....this is one of your best poems among your recent contributions. Nice job. (Report) Reply

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  • (10/14/2005 10:28:00 AM)


    'he could do nothing for her, so he made dumplings.' I hope I remembered that right. Those lines in themselves are a poem. Wow.

    (Report) Reply

  • (10/14/2005 9:47:00 AM)

    Wonderful. Tapped into a shared experience. I am curious about 'a mile of knots'. Is this an afghan? Or is the metaphor deeper (immobility) ? Thanks! -chuck (Report) Reply

  • (10/14/2005 9:29:00 AM)

    I like the camaderie...the way the food was prepared reminds me of my childhood at my mom's house. Good job! ! (Report) Reply

  • (10/14/2005 8:38:00 AM)

    It's lovely, Michael.
    Beautifully understated, and so, so universally true!
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 14, 2005

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