Anticipating the Morning After

10 November 2016, Hong Kong

anticipating the morning after
the State of the Union Address
to be made by the President-Elect

on this morning after
      the election, I listen
to the parent at the next table
define protectionism to his child

but nothing’s made in America
she objects

                  as I await
tyres slashed and windscreens smashed
like I endured in the good old days
of an earlier regime’s

but not yet
                  for today
it’s peaceful protests on the streets
and a friend’s friend stating
he will be there in blue
waiting to bash their heads
      if they’ll just give him a reason

but you have to remember, says he
the majority of Americans voted for him
so he is our President now
                        will be soon

and she

Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a poet, writer, and translator. She is the author of eight volumes of poetry (Alban Lake and Math Paper Press), a pair of travel guides for the cities of Suzhou and Shanghai (Urbanatomy), and a book on classical Chinese gardens (Hong Kong University Press). She has translated work from the Chinese for Penguin Books, Epigram Books, the National Library Board in Singapore, Giramondo Books, and Rinchen Books. Shelly’s poetry has appeared in journals, magazines, and websites around the world, as well as in several art exhibitions. Her translation of Sheng Keyi’s Northern Girls was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012, and her translation of You Jin’s In Time, Out of Place was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2016. You can visit her website at

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