Features by Yuan Changming

for Helen Hengxiang Liao

Not coincidentally, I have met many a person
With a strong appearance of a lower species
For instance, one school mate of mine carries 
The features of a rabbit, another close relative
Those of a horse, a colleague of a familiar dog
An acquaintance of a hedgehog, a fifth of a 
Snake, a sixth of a pig, a rooster, a rat, a water
Buffalo, a donkey, a goat or chimpanzee & 
Each seems fated to fall within or without some
Chinese zodiac year
While my wife often
Looks like a nasty cat, she says my face oftener
shows all the hideousness of a demon, as if to re-
Mind her like every other fellow human, I was 
Born in an extra year of Satan though we were
All created equal in His image