Tofu With Shrimp

by Christine Wu

In place of my mother’s kitchen I search for guidance
on the Internet, some other family’s food
steps. Use only the softest little pillows
of beancurd waiting to absorb
all the world has to unleash. In my mouth,
sharp snap of pink-white flesh, memory of my mother
who ate only tofu, couldn’t afford shrimp for herself,
all the best morsels piled atop my rice, her child
who refused to eat
tofu, hated the bland, passive cubes with no backbone
to produce its own bite. My hunger for tofu now
is guttural and confusing, makes me wonder
if perhaps tofu was my mother’s only way
to return home in her body. My doufu ha
simmers in an oversized ceramic saucepan,
cross-cultural facsimile of a wok, which is
not the same at all. The recipe reads
try not to break the tofu cubes but all I hear is
be gentle with the tofu. It has not yet learned
the hardness of life.

Christine Wu is a Chinese-Canadian poet whose work has appeared in Descant, Qwerty, The Temz Review, and Ricepaper Magazine. She has a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria and a MLIS from Dalhousie University. She currently lives in Fredericton on traditional unceded Wolastoqiyik territory.

Leave a Reply