Amazing Kids! Magazine

8th year with Nai Nai

By Nicole Chan, Age 14, Hong Kong


I followed my nai nai’s (1) heels
The lilting sound of the Chinese flute
Guides the Tai Chi movements
Light-hearted. I was eight.

The sound of the pans clanking
I sit on a bamboo stool waiting for my jiao zi (2)
Marinated Ginger and Vinegar bursting in my mouth
Satisfied. I was eight.

Matching crimson qi pao (3) with nai nai
Banging on relatives’ traditional Chinese wooden doors
Gobbling steaming new year cake in every house
Dazzling in Chinese flame red silk. I was eight.

The wrinkled hand held my wrist softly
Guiding me to light the Chinese lantern
The full moon reflecting on the jade colored ocean
Enchanted. I was eight.

The clicking sound of mahjong filling in the room
Just turned 80, Nai nai sits at the head of table
Peach buns, long noodles and eggs in every dish
Sighing in joy. I was eight.

Kneeling next to a white carved coffin
I sobbed while I held a yellow chrysanthemum
The burning of fake money filled the air
Following the loud music of the funeral band, I was pulled away.

I was grief-stricken, eight.

(1) Grandmother
(2) Dumpling
(3) Traditional female dress with distinctive Chinese features

One comment

  1. Cindy Mahoney /

    What a beautiful poem Nichole. You honor that wonderful lady- your Nai Nai with this touching tribute.