Vera Hua Dong: The First Day of My Divorce

Sep 2022 | Found in translation

With first sunrise shimmering in her hair, Mother arrived at my gate with one oversized suitcase, filled with food and guilt. ‘Have more sleep, I will bring breakfast to your bed.’

‘I am already awake, let’s eat together.’ As Mother hurried into the kitchen, I smelled soft jasmine soap, and fresh black hair dye. Soon, steam rose from my favourite rice porridge. Mother left Father when I was little. Every misstep I made, she blamed herself. We sat and ate warm white porridge from bluewhite porcelain bowls. A blue painted girl at the bottom of each bowl.




清早, 母亲站在了我家门旁, 阳光洒满她依然浓密的黑发, 超大旅行箱中满是我爱的食材,与她的负罪。‘多睡会儿,做好早饭端到你房间。’ 她说。


translation by the author, Vera Hua Dong, with Ting Yu

Vera Hua Dong discovered the joys of writing and gardening three years after she moved from Shanghai to Kerikeri, where she has lived with her husband and two children since 2013. Her writing deepens her sense of childhood in China and opens her mind’s eye to the beauty of living in rural New Zealand. She writes prose and poetry in both Chinese and English.

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