Souvenirs for My Daughters


In shock

my head pleads with the all-mighty,
the devada of the devadas
that it would not be so.

So much to take and process, I feel
myself leaving my own body
to stand and watch
myself reaching out for logic. All reasons
that once had solidified hope and faith in life
now lay lifeless in my grip.
My motherís death lifts up my empty body.
I feel weightless. The only weight to ground
me would be the answer from my aunts.
I float the usual thirty paces to their door.
My hard fist pound their sheet-tin door.
No sound of undone latches,
no voices of theirs. It is just me
and the sound of my let-out sighs.
My head so full. So much air.
A hollow ball, I fill with countless
they had gone to bed early, theyíd gone to sleep.

Floating back with me are incidents of four or five days prior,
which could have caused that phrase, maybe they killed her to be uttered.
There were no black crows roosting on our roof.
Iíd asked permission to climb those mango trees.
Iíve not walked over othersí graves, lately.
And, I remember asking for forgiveness from
that crab I threw into the fire yesterday.
My mother cannot be dead. Iíll wait . . .

back | next

table of contents



© 2010 Khmer Institute. All rights reserved.