Mid-autumn Mooncakes

Eileen Chong

It’s nearly mid-autumn. I spy the tins
at the Asian grocer – gaudy red peonies
unchanged for forty years. Of course
I buy the mooncakes with double yolks:

here in Australia, yolk or no yolk,
they cost the same. I should wait for you,
wait for the full moon, light some lanterns
and try to make out the lunar rabbit,

the Chinese fairy, but I don’t. I cut
the mooncake into quarters and spoon
out the deep orange yolks, leaving
half-round cavities in the sweet

lotus paste. Eaten on their own,
the yolks are creamy, almost too salty.
A continent away, my mother in her kitchen
would be slicing through shell

and briny white, my father would be scraping
duck eggs into rice porridge. They always saved me
the yolks. My bowl, a cradle of bright congee
full of the gold of the mid-autumn moon.

 


 
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