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Mid-Autumn Mooncakes

It's nearly mid-autumn. I spy the tins

at the Asian grocer's - 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, I imagine my mother

in her kitchen, slicing through shell


and briny white, remember my father scraping

the 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.



Go to Eileen Chong's profile to read more poems

Poem Video

  • Eileen Chong reads her poem 'Moon Cakes' at the 2010 NSW Parliament Poetry Soirée