pearl of asia

the city wakes without pressing snooze
before heat closes in like a fist

a man brushing dust from his
shoes, that settles
no matter how little he walks
the boy, hands the size of a toy car remote
gripping the handlebars of a motorbike for one
two siblings stacked behind him

and i learn
an elderly beggar
eyes punched full of a shame that trickles
down her face, binds shut her lips
wordlessly pleading for survival
is humanity stripped down to its most raw

but still, how the sun remembers
to fondle angkor wat on its way to the sky
paints a strip of fire the width of one grace
along the horizon each morning

if the lotuses can make the choice
over and over
to build a home in this land
if i can cross the road with my eyes closed
reach the other side safely
and the child who has never known her parents
can smile like the rich men haven’t in years
i think
perhaps there is an oyster here after all

31 thoughts on “pearl of asia

  1. pennygadd51 says:

    This is a good poem. You’re going beyond your angst and writing about the world. I love your rapid-fire metaphors, and the way you use them to slide through the story that you tell. And your last line “there is an oyster here after all” is brilliant!
    May I please reblog this poem?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lexicartis says:

    We left Cambodia a few months ago after three years with a school there. This poetry took me back – perfect imagery – it’s hard to imagine it fully if you’ve not experienced it: the heat, the families on motos, the poverty (and unfulfilling wealth), crossing the road!! It speaks well of the hardship there but also of the hope. It’s a pearl of a poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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