three

crossing the bridge©papa osmubal

crossing the bridge©papa osmubal

three
agnes vong

there used to be only one bridge
it had a name
but people simply called it ‘the bridge’

a second bridge was built
it also had a name
and in order to distinguish them
people called them the new bridge and the old bridge

now another bridge has been built
it also needs a name
and people are puzzled by what to call it

taxi drivers are more puzzled still
when the customer asks
‘ging sankiu, via the new bridge, please.’

it was the same with casinos
once ‘dou cheung, casino’ meant the Lisboa, Pou Geng
but now you could point in any direction

with bridges even three is too many
now—whether it’s bridges or casinos
we have to remember the names

with only one or two of anything
people can keep their minds clear

but three is a big number to count to

and so finally, people remember
the second bridge
is called ‘yao yi, the friendship bridge’

but friendship with whom?
that’s even harder to remember

…but we can try

once there was a little country
in Europe
and there was a celestial kingdom
and a little ship set sail

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