My Stepmom was at Tiananmen Square

February 10, 2018

We follow them out to this breakfast place

at Victoria Park and Finch

where the line is out the door

 

and when we are seated

it is by the window

and we all order the breakfast special

and the bacon is actually crispy

when you order it that way

 

and it is then

that my father finally gets

my stepmom to tell us about

how she was at Tiananmen Square,

how she was married to a Chinese man

at the time and rode her bicycle many miles

to get there even though the military

had warned against it

 

and how there was a hunger strike,

but no one thought things would get

that serious

 

until all the student protest leaders

were arrested

and she lost her bike in the melee

and had to walk back home

 

where her now ex-husband was at home

asleep in bed

having missed all the action

 

and then she quit the party

and moved to the west and became

a capitalist, my father ribs her.

 

She elbows him, but it is true.

We are a party of four according

to the waitress expecting a tip

and nothing more.

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