Aabye's Baby
Tiananmen Square encloses
space and people. A million
souls can stand here while Moa
shines out across it like the moon.
He stares toward his mausoleum
where comrades queue with tourists
to see the man who challenged art, and grass.

There are children flying kites
today, pulling hard against
the sky. A yellow wind
blows in from the Gobi:
it chases birds away, makes the
people hide their heads in bags.

We photograph Qianmen Gate
and a man who screams through
narrow eyes. We watch the bikes
float by; we listen to the traffic
growl and thunder. I think of tanks,
faded grins, and imagine
waking-up to find the circle squared.

What is this place exactly?
The people have no English,
we have no Mandarin. All we do is
wander to each compass point.
All they do is stare
and, sometimes, fail to smile.
Paul McDonald Paul McDonald is Senior Lecturer in English and American studies at the University of Wolverhampton. He has lectured on various literary topics around the world. He has published critical and creative work in many periodicals both in Europe and the States. Recent books include, Fiction from the Furnace: A hundred years of black country writing, The Student Guide to Philip Roth, the critically acclaimed Black Country based novels, Surviving Sting and Kiss Me Softly, Amy Turtle published by Tindal Street Press. In 2007 he published a poetry collection Catch a Falling Tortoise (Cinnamon Press). The Aabye's Baby Archive
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Pamela Dumont, 2001
Paul McDonald, 1999
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This page last updated: 10th January 2010.