Wittier Word Weavers

Writers' Club of Whittier

Connection Chart

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circleofrelationshipMake a chart about you
and your relationship
put yourself
in the middle
by your inner circle

list names dear to you
names you call
for a kiss
a tea, in a shouting match
names you wake
names you feed
names of whose birth dates
you celebrate
Names of those
you depend on
to love you.


Draw an outer circle
List friends, people you meet
daily, monthly
people you know
who know you.


Then in the last circle
maybe your co-workers,
your team players,
church members,
You know,
people who drop in
and out of your life.


and at the fours corners
drop in random people
the mailman, your dog groomer
“enlighten witness, yes?”
Mary asks,
“people you meet briefly
but impact your life.”


“Yes,” our workshop leader
seizes the thought


Once, as I was about
to cross the street
I did look left, right, then left,
and the street was empty, safe.


as I put my foot out
a voice shouted, “Stop”
just as a car zoomed by.


I looked up, just long enough
to meet a man’s face
from far away.
just long enough to wave, yell, “Thank you,”
to the receding back of
my life saver


We never
cross path again.
You’ re right. He should be there
on my chart
perhaps on
a different layer,
from atop.


“Maybe we need
the Galactic Quadrant,”
someone blurts
as I draw a heart
and within it write


My pen hovers.
Of course,
the first names
should be
my husband’s
and children’s


I love them.
But do they
Do they love me?
My pen


Do I depend on them
to the point I’ d die
for them
and they for me.


It’s ambiguous. It’s a hard question.
It’s a hard question
anyone has to answer
with words.


I came to this life
the dark length
of my mother’s cave


She helped
but all depended
on my strength,
will, instinct,
my fate.


and when I pass,
I’ll sure fumble along
in the darkness
of death
not knowing
where I’m going
knowing only
I’ m flickering,
by myself
no longer being.


But the workshop gets
even harder when
I have to write
about myself
from the perspective
of another.


It never dawns
on me
I should know
what others think
of me.


It never once
crosses my mind
that I should care.


They might get me right.
They mostly size me wrong.
they mostly box me in
and simplify.


A woman. An Asian.
A mother. A writer.
too categorical, too well- defined.
Why bother?


Why can’t I be
a star
in a million galaxies
a billion light-year
from the next star
inscrutable, immeasurable,
full of possibilities
even deadly.

Author: Hong-My Basrai

Memoirist and author of Behind the Red Curtain, blogger, engineer, manager, mother of three and wife of one, etc. I am a bit of everything.


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