SBP Blog

Stone Bridge Cafe: "夏至 - Xiàzhì - Summer Solstice" by Vivian Wagner

Thomas Joel - Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Stone Bridge Cafe is a bi-weekly online series from Stone Bridge Press devoted to bringing readers short stories, poems, non-fiction pieces, photographs, and artwork from and/or about East Asia. For submission guidelines and info, follow the link at the bottom of this post.

On the menu this week is a bitter-sweet prose poem from professor and author Vivian Wagner that captures a pivotal moment in parenthood and meditates on the visceral experience of change. 

夏至 - Xiàzhì - Summer Solstice
When you take a photo of your son at the airport before he leaves for Taiwan, the luminous yellow of the Concourse B sign behind him–or, really, ahead of him–is so bright it obscures his face in shadow. This is the radiance of the future, you know, and when you drive home, crying, on this, the longest, sunniest day, you wear your tinted glasses simply so you can see. Everything’s saturated with worry and joy. Even the asphalt’s bedazzled.


Vivian Wagner is an associate professor of English at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. She's the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel-Kensington), and a poetry collection, The Village (Kelsay Books). Visit her website at

If you would like to submit your own work to Stone Bridge Cafe, follow this link for submission info and guidelines:


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