The Best Part  

By

By JASPER FU 

 

I always loved the best part of travelling to San Francisco 

of bouncing impatiently in a rattling SUV  

down a rattling highway 

a child eager and in search of the pastel houses and twisting streets 

are we there yet, Dad 

that mark the City. 

 

Perhaps it has not the cobblestone gravitas of the Old World 

the spiraling modernity of Tokyo 

the cozy warmth of brick buildings blanketed in Northeastern snow 

the storied glory of Rome or Greece 

still, it has its own charm. 

 

Here the fog rolls in to make day brisk 

for all the efforts of the California sun 

as we run rampant through shops and stores 

as my parents try to contain us. 

 

But it is nights that lay bare the beauty of the city 

cold nights spent bundled up 

colder still for me 

who has never seen snow  

never heard hail. 

 

The view from Coit Tower 

or Twin Peaks 

is all the more glorious for the climb 

my dad proud he has dragged us three children up 

as we cover reddened noses with numbing hands 

as we scramble with fingers that can hardly feel it 

for a quarter to slip into the slot of a rusty telescope 

an eagle’s eye on demand. 

 

Giving up and pulling away 

revelling in the view 

streets strung with stars shimmering so far away 

blurry but beaming but blaring in the distance. 

 

 

For all that, the best part is yet to come 

because the best part is waiting  

after I clamberinto the car 

after miles weaving through winding roads 

Miles Davis playing through the contented silence 

after a day well spent. 

 

The best part is waiting 

as we pull into the driveway 

as we walk through the doorway 

as we climb up stairs as daunting as any mountain 

our leaden legs refusing to move 

for all that we had just climbed one. 

 

The best part is falling into bed 

because I am too tired to lower myself 

because I do not want to move another step 

because I can’t, Dad 

 

because the best part is always coming home. 

 

 

Jasper Fu ([email protected]) is a long way from home.