The Next Generation


By Andrew Lawrence Crown


Copyright © Andrew Lawrence Crown, 2006. All rights reserved.


This strong foreigner’s strength

Passed down through her father’s blood

And before that from Yangban

The honored class of scholars

To this woman who is now

The mother of my son

A boy the product of

An argument she won

With her stubborn logic

A precision of words

Unmistakably her own

Even though not

Of her mother tongue

Rather a language acquired

Through years of dutiful study

Confucius would be proud

Of this diligent student of mine

Who now runs my household

Like a general runs his camp

Sent me on an errand

For the required treats and candies

Returning I listened

In between spoonfuls of ice cream and rice

To a plea like the closing statement

Of a lawyerly Queen

Holding court in my living room

Against the disappointing backdrop

Of the ten o’clock news

History on her side

And tradition to boot

I have succumbed to the elements

And the forces of nature

Which have made me a father

Of this sparkling prized boy

Who owes his existence

In part to these words

Calling forth my compliance

With an ancient commandment

Yobo we must

Bring forth our next generation

Why you ask me

Husband I will tell you

The choice is not mine

Our blood

It is sacred like our love

Our blood

It must continue


And happiness swept over us

Like a cleansing rain

Dousing our love in water

From the holiest spring