Dazu

Alone on the bamboo bridge

hunched over from the weight of her pack,

an old woman layered in rags

wails her story to the trees.

Behind the dense green curtain of bamboo

her audience listens:

fifty thousand stone Buddhas,

donors, and Bodhisattvas,

carved one thousand years ago.

For a moment I leave Dazu thinking

of the opera house back home.