Collecting Stamps

by Jeff Leong

(For my son, Marc) 

I had this eccentric habit, stashing
used stamps to start you a small collection
for the day you arrive

I long imagined, showing
you snow monkeys of Japan, Australian Possums
and the pangolins of Malaysia 

There were colorful birds too, singing
Lesser Flamingo from Kenya, Ceylonese Rufous Babbler
and Belibis Polos of Republik Indonesia

You were late in arriving
Postmarked 1990, the first in the collection
grew into a treasure trove

You like faces best, pointing
at Gandhi of India, the Queen of England
and the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam

And I like you best, laughing
over the names of countries: Sverige
Forstentum Liechtenstein and Republica De Honduras

 2003 by Jeff Leong. All rights reserved.