Liu Chin – Guizhou China

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Liu Chin

Liu Chin with your lazy eye, thumb on a cell phone, standing in the shadow of a man.

Where did you get the green arboretum tee shirt tucked in with a long black belt cinching your slender waist? Where did you get the gold band on your finger? Your skin

is like buffed candle wax compared to mine. Arrival, Departure, you keep us on track, gathering passports, collecting airport tax, riding baggage carts around the bend.

Liu Chin with the lazy eye, thumb on a cell phone, standing in the shadow of a man.

You, smart but young with mischief in your eyes, to us you are a banker, a teacher,

a concierge, a  keeper of harmony who caters to our every wish. In the distance

you skip stones over the clear river water, reflections of weeping trees juggle for postion.

Coming from the mountains thick with vegetation,

You, Chin with the lazy eye, thumb on a cell phone, standing in the shadow of a man.

Did you sing while she held you at the age of three? Were you dancing to the drums

and suona horn, the melody of flutes egging you on? Who taught you to read

the inscriptions on bones and shells? Did you go to school?  Back home, sitting

in front of my window looking out onto the Bay, my most important image of China

is you. In a small room while our group ate dinner you did an impression of a baby bird accidentally falling into the river. I see those wings I see the bird, big, but young, each layered feather in various hues of gray and black, the bend in his wings, flopping.

I see the bird accidentally fall into the river near your birthplace in the mountains

of Guizhou.

A Small Incident Between an American and a Russian

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Last night I couldn’t find my iphone. It must be in the other room. It’s in the car. Using my husband’s phone call it. Someone answered my phone, but I didn’t understand the voice. I apologized for calling the wrong number. I called my cell phone again. This time both of us had a hard time understanding the other one. ‘Come pick up the phone at 8:30 tonight.’ I’m not going to go out to meet some stranger at night. ‘No, I can’t come. I can come tomorrow.’ The person said 8:30 tomorrow morning and gave me a meeting place, a hotel in the city. I was to call my iphone when I got there. No name was given to me. Afterwards, I worried. There was no code lock on my cell. Anyone could read everything. What if they rack up a lot of calls?  What if they want a big reward for it’s return. What personal information was on my phone? I called my son and asked him what to do. He offered to call and see if it was all legit. He called the person who had my phone saying he was going to cut off the phone with my carrier. Calling back and he told me not to worry. ‘It’s a language difficulty. Your phone is with a visiting Russian family.’

This morning my husband drove me down to the hotel. (Thank goodness Manchester United wasn’t playing soccer on TV at that time.) He waited outside while I went in and called my cell phone. In a few minutes, a beautiful small woman came up to me smiling as she handed me my white iphone, the old model. Her eleven year old grandson had found it on the street. Very excited he hoped he could keep it. She said, ‘no, it didn’t belong to him. Someone needs it. All their information is on it. We will wait.’ My response to her was, ‘ I’ve learned a lesson. I’ll lock my phone with a code from now on. ‘Oh, no, don’t do that! Then you won’t get your phone back. I have found 5 phones in LA. If the owner doesn’t call, I call one of their contacts and ask them do you know this person? I have their cell phone.’

After big hugs and thank you’s, I left this lovely woman thinking, we read and hear about so many troubles in the world, but you know, basically people are good. A few hours later I received a text message from her grandson thanking me for my small reward.

Thank you, Daniel. You are the best!

What would you all do? Cancel your phone or leave it connected ? Do you keep your cell phone locked?