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Posts Tagged ‘suds’

His past smells of a ditch

drying up its putrid stink

as stale as the street air.

It belongs to a smoggy neighborhood.

In the memory of tattered rags

flapping like flags on the clothesline.

As if dreams can be scavenged

out of the hilly mounds

of garbage, dumping its gifts

of someone else’s trash turning

into someone else’s fortune.

 

No one cared about armpits

getting wet and sour for hours,

as long as the bad odors

can promise him little money

to buy fish sauce for rice.

Sniffing heaven on earth-

little angel never complaining

about life, about the linger-

of those occasional whiffs

from the broken sewer.

Nor the rising sting of steam

emanating from his broken skin

pierced by the cruel sun.

 

Nor inhaling the dry cough of cars

and buses farted poison.

The way he exhaled yesterday

walking on a pavement slow,

feeling the throbbing locomotion

churn on his empty stomach.

A street urchin squeezing the crowd

like a fly hopping on a hope

above the grease and grime

that smeared a childhood.

 

He won’t cover the past

with today’s perfume

nor sanitize its images

in suds of detergent.

He’s not ashamed

of the scent of his past-

the smell of poverty

that swarmed his innocence

and have walked

the muddy line across

the nook and cranny

of his every bones.

He survived them all.

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My child, grow as you would hope to be.

 

I am here, washing the dirty linen

and the soiled clothes thinking of you.

Who can tell? That the world in the future,

its circumstances be better. But I pray

that you may have the strength to face

each day with courage and dignity-

of choosing what is true and honest.

Defending what is right over wrong,

uncompromising to the virtues that I

am going to teach you. Please listen.

 

I am not the best and I am not perfect.

 

And I dream for you my child, a life anew.

Realizing the chance to fulfill the purposes

destined for you. Keeping steer of the pitfalls

I have done. Make a difference of your own.

Striving the very best that you can.

Standing up for what you believe in.

Though you may fall, there will always be

a chance to pick yourself up, to stand again.

 

Never quit. Never fear. God be with you.

 

And I hope you learn from my mistakes.

The misjudgment I did when I was

once a child like you. Growing up too.

Through my adulthood, deciding to love

another being and brought you along

amidst the pain, the hurt and the turmoil.

May it be- your life like these soap suds

clearing away the dirty traces of my past,

vanishing all the fears that I had before.

 

Starting the days wearing clean clothes.

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Sylvia, you struggled with the night, they don’t see you.  And the madness you have kept along since your youth, stand watch to the agony of your desire, I feel you, even if Ted fades away. They seem to like you and your outbursts of anger, unmindful of the things you are so capable of destroying; your fragility, your womanhood.  They had made you as faceless like girls of Kabul wearing burqa. 

But I must admit, Sylvia, that beyond with your innocence, beyond with the frailty and your true self repressed by layers and layers of hate and uncertainties, you will rise like a phoenix redeeming its immortality.  Like a golden lotus emerging from the fiery flames, and a thousand death might come but it will never win its argument against your indomitable spirit. Yet Sylvia, you left the world with a scar that won’t heal in time, putting a strong voice to silence unheard of, in decades past.

Have you ever met Frida Kahlo? Your fate runs almost parallel to hers and through your gift of art, the pangs of pain are shifted through the bittersweet beauty of your words, though they say it was staid and conventional.  But I don’t believe them.  Yours an endless laughter like the one you made with Ted when you first met him at the party in Cambridge. Yours a happiness since the first time you have published “The Colossus”.

How could you keep as perfectly as it was to squeeze in the time breathing life to a poetry waiting there at the dining table and lay you sleepless in the night?  How could you tear yourself apart open and shed the light withholding nothing and the truthfulness of the turmoil you’re going through?  The days that lingers almost unbearable, in between the soiled dishes in the sink, in the soapy suds of the dirty linen and in the keeping of your children who are innocent of the struggles your dealing with Ted. 

In the night, that you have sealed the doors by wet rags, have you thought of just keeping on, pressing on- to deal with your pervading loneliness and disillusion? When you precisely turned on the ignition of the cooker, as you inhale the gas, Sylvia, did you think of finally  avenging your fractured self against Ted?  Of how your  jealousy could have made you insanely and sweetly surrendering to impending death?  How intense is your longing for Ted to reconcile with you, knowing that he is just a man, and you are so afraid of losing him?

Sylvia, if you only have known that after forty years have past since your death, your son Nicholas might have taken his life, too; maybe because he might be carrying the gravity of questions left unanswered since the day you died.  Would you keep on existing? Would you be strong enough to let go of Ted and spend the rest of your lifetime for your children? And see them of what they have become in the twilight of your years?

But the time has run out.  And you have to choose between life and death.  But you chose the latter. Sylvia, you have chosen to end the sad stories in your life, cutting away Ted and his chains around you.  You have chosen freedom.

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