April 17, 2021

“Where is Papa?”

By Van Biak Thang

All the farmers from the youngest to the oldest
Enjoying their social repose from toil and moil
It was time just after the end of the harvest
That she for blessings knew herself from her own soil
And the whole village shared the tidings in rejoice

Under the roof of thatch in a bright moonlit night
With vivid memories of hers in that twilight
By the fir-lit hearth was she fast sitting astride
No one else around apart from the one inside
In reminiscence about their mutual love thrice

It was when a hatch of chickens made their way home
And when a grandpa began his nursery rhyme
And when a family shared a table for pray’r
That he’s cuffed and taken by a lion-headed star
For no other reasons than being a man of price

Nothing was learnt and known about her beloved
Since peace in a family’s disturbed and shredded
Knowing a life deserves more respect than a sword
No one stood against bayonets but as a coward
As the darkness brought its power into practice

As clear as a newly-cut mirror for the queen
She’d still see as if it were shown in a big screen
The time he’s beaten and forced to be a porter
Without even a word of farewell nor whisper
To family and loved ones in fear and sadness

Days and nights marched and so did the age of her son
But the past image’s still stirring like a whirlwind
Her eyes being filled with tears of anger and tension
She couldn’t open her trembling mouth to a question
“Where is Papa?” by his little blood in surprise


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