Mush

O his lost childhood’s eternal weather:
the constant threat of rain & sun
that filters through the grim, grey clouds –
Mother’s gaunt face, her religious sentiment
her soft voice calling out for a young Oping
to keep her company with their meager meal
on the wooden table that stared in the empty air
O all the bare ceremony that attended their days
Tin toy car, carton boxes, tin toy guitar
that hurt his young fingers, never his guiding star
But who would know what was it: silent despair?
Theirs was the small, complete hovel of a lair
Father would, years back, crawl out of sick bed
recovering from pneumonia as though from near death
His face seeking his to comfort his bleak, blank eyes
Yes, they thanked the Lord for the austere fare
Of fish & rice declared acceptable & fair
It had been so long a time ago that way
Why anger there was none, when there was poverty
O How strange that across the table this charming lady
sipping tea will never, in his mind, feel that history.

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