Kim-An Lieberman



My daughter is a collector of fragments:
single beads, stray buttons, broken twigs.
She trolls the garden, catching seedpods
and pebbles in her pocket. This is not to sing
a strange-eyed child, some oracular pure
who sees what we have lost. She is not knowing,
just doing. A small thing jealous of the world,
snatching her share from the groundfall.

After the first wave crested and cleared,
the beach was littered with golden fish
staring upward, still flapping as if to swim.
They say the children came running to gather,
filling skirts and shirtsleeves, crowing, gleeful,
brown feet flashing salt. Only then did the sky
open its sudden true hand, the second wave
reaching forward to sweep them all away.


“Harvest” first appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.

Kim-An Lieberman is an almost-lifelong Seattlelite. Her collection of poetry, Breaking the Map, won a first-book prize from Blue Begonia Press in 2008. Her work also appears in journals and anthologies including Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Lantern Review, CALYX, New Poets of the American West, and My Viet: Vietnamese American Literature in English. A recipient of awards from the Jack Straw Writers Program and the Mellon Foundation for the Humanities, Kim-An has been a featured reader at venues including the Skagit River Poetry Festival, the San Francisco International Poetry Festival, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley and has spent many years in the classroom, teaching kindergarteners through college students.