Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Poem for Si Chuan

Chaos spills out from your beauty,
Your great trees, your soft earth.
It slips between fingers
and falls to it’s fate.

Time has sown and reaped your fields,
feeding your children and making them strong.
Yet now they boil over, in a cruel twist,
like an old friend gone cold.

Brick lay silently upon your dead.
The broken ground lets out a sigh of relief
workers, marching over the land
like ants would crawl over a dropped birthday cake.

I’ll call out for the weepers,
bring out your best.
The wailers and and mourners,
we need the professionals.

Your strong men who cry for your daughters.
Your weak ones who break for your sons,
in places where tents and sacks of rice
replace family.

A brick pile of a school, stooped in the grass,
sings the sorrow, sighs the story.

So this is what it’s like to grieve.
This is what it’s like to pray for the dead.
These are your tears, puddled together, in a pool over Mian Yang.
It’s murky waters rising higher still.

I saw your face this morning, it’s emptiness.
It was in my yahoo! account next to Angelina Jolie’s
pregnant belly and NBC’s Summer Schedule.
As I read your article a pop-up told me that
I could meet “sexy singles” anytime I wanted.

My mother Skyped me to tell me that she saved
$1.37 on laundry detergent.
“My coffee is cold”, I lamented, “and my fantasy
team sucks”, I complained to myself.
“That’s great, mom. We’re all so proud of you. I
need to go now, I love you”.

I had to close boxes and open the microwave
before I could find your article again.
You were still there,
waiting for a savior.

Your weepy lake had begun to drain,
down the mountain through cookie-cutter rivers.
The army had built them for you… so thoughtful.
And these rivers will carry your tears down the mountain
and through this Red Country to the ocean.

They will soon be washed away by waters from other
mountains, with other songs and stories,
far less heartbreaking.

This is the hope. This is the faith.

That these words may remain:

“I see you, Si Chuan.
I hear you, my love.
Breathe out, my sweet,
and breathe in once more.”

“You’re in my heart, Si Chuan.
You pump my blood.
All that is gone from you
I long to restore”.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Your heart has been exposed.
It's real and in pain.
Thank you for sharing.
In Love.