My cousin , Robert Yen, is the son of my Auntie Joan and is also, like me, San Tong and Rose's grandson . In his day job he is an attorney but is also an accomplished poet in his spare time . After reading the letters of Rose to San Tong , he wrote this poem . The clan gathered this spring for the wedding of Bob's daughter Emily to Matt Young . Emily is the great granddaughter of Rose and San Tong Jue .
Coming to This Life-after reading letters from my grandmother, Rose Evelyn Chung (1908-1935)
I dreamed that you lived 'til now.
In my garden, I see you
thumbing dark soil into your palm,
the sandiness of your life transforming
......into this shared dream of nasturtiums, and
......hollyhocks,and delphinium; a garden
bright with dreams you deferred to your daughter,
......and she to me,
..............and me to my daughter.
In your time , you smelled a breeze
.......just like this,
tasted the fruit of dates from Indio and hungered
for sugar cane as sweet as these. And yet,
how strange it is to be alive. ......now
beneath this elm. Purple finches chattering above
like school children-like my children -who in
their love for books
can only glimpse the lives to come.
But we have come to our lives-mine,
a single history in an archipelago of poems;
an archive of letters to your husband, bringing
back to you .........and you...