Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

You Can’t Step in the Same River Thrice

You Can’t Step in the Same River Thrice

By Judy Keung

He fishes for shrimps and tadpoles, his mask of schizophrenia gone.
My brother’s face ash-white, his fingers tremble like leaves.
He flees from threatening hooligans, tadpoles break from his net.
I strain to catch his nebulous face, my vision blurs, the river forks…
It threatens with curves.

The first time water, waist-deep, soars and sweeps over me.
The second time the clock turns back, I see my brother.
He’s playing the guitar, his voice boisterous, his cheeks chubby-red.
I wake to find the same river. Dream-like it beckons me.
It lures with my brother’s voice.


a photo of Judy Keung

Judy Keung taught literature and creative writing at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIED) from 1995 to 2001. Currently, she works as the Language Across the Curriculum resource teacher in a local secondary school. She is the author of two poetry collections and editor of the anthology Writers’ Kaleidoscope, a collection of students’ writings. She was presented with an International Poet of Merit Award in 2001 by the International Society of Poets.

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