December, Chiang Mai

Morning air, birds singing,
mist above Doi Suthep,
vendors grilling,
women chopping vegetables,
tuk-tuks roaring around corners—
an older monk frowns, barefoot
in a dark golden brown robe,
another monk chants over a mother
and five year old daughter
sitting on their heels, side by side
in freshly ironed white cotton dresses,
heads bowed, palms together, hushed
while he intones, sprinkling them with water
from a plastic bottle—
plain, vivid as
splitting wood,
shoveling snow.

bougainvillae on tin roof, Chiang Moi Rd, Soi 3

bougainvillea on tin roof, Chang Moi Rd, Soi 3

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