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Five Translated Eileen Chong Poems

1 February 2018


Image courtesy of The Planthunter / Red Room Company.

Mid-Autumn Mooncakes

It’s nearly mid-autumn. I spy the tins
at the Asian grocer—gaudy red peonies
unchanged for forty years. Of course
I buy the mooncakes with double yolks:

here in Australia, yolk or no yolk,
they cost the same. I should wait for you,
wait for the full moon, light some lanterns
and try to make out the lunar rabbit,

the Chinese fairy, but I don’t. I cut
the mooncake into quarters and spoon
out the deep orange yolks, leaving
half-round cavities in the sweet

lotus paste. Eaten on their own,
the yolks are creamy, almost too salty.
A continent away, my mother in her kitchen
would be slicing through shell

and briny white, my father would be scraping
duck eggs into rice porridge. They always saved me
the yolks. My bowl, a cradle of bright congee
full of the gold of the mid-autumn moon.




中秋月饼

已近中秋,
我打量着亚洲超市里,
花哨的红牡丹铁盒,
四十年未变。
月饼,一定是双黄的才好。

在澳洲,有黄无黄,
都卖得一样贵。
那一轮中秋圆月,
我应该等等你。
点上灯笼,试图辨出玉兔和嫦娥,

但我没有。
将月饼切成四块,
挖出金黄的蛋黄,
留下半圆缺口,
在香甜莲蓉中。

只吃蛋黄,奶油般丝滑,
稍咸了几分。
隔着一个大洋的距离,
母亲这时该在厨房,

切开鸭蛋壳,
露出咸蛋白,
父亲会将蛋黄碎放入白粥,
他们总是把蛋黄留给我。

而我别离的碗中,
映着中秋月之金。

翻译:张可 何文慧 (Translated by Ke Zhang and Weihui He)

 


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