In America, demonstrators protest against
democracy for Hong Kong
while waving Old Glory and the flag
of the PRC.
In China, demonstrators protest against
a communist regime
and are tear-gassed and brutalized
by their police.
Those who should know the value of democracy
and oppress it in the safety of a democracy…
I wonder if they sleep at night.
I wonder if they ever stop and think.
*Note: This poem was written in response to a demonstration I witnessed with Pro-China vs. Pro-Hong Kong demonstrators across the same street. If you are unfamiliar with what is happening in Hong Kong, here is a recent summary from CNN. Be aware that there is no free press in mainland China and news is state approved. Hong Kong officials must also be China-approved before they run for office and are largely pro-PRC.
The sun sets finally on the man
who for so long pushed it back
concerned for a child scared of the dark.
Now, she looks up and seeing the stars,
weeps and prays at their light.
old coats and blankets
worn and washed until
the seams gave way
and mended haphazardly
to make them last that extra while
in remembrance of she
who gifted one and cut
and sewed other
At night, she lay awake
and thought of a sunbeam
drifting across the wooden floor
from the open window
which she had drawn open
Into the purple smoke
she tossed her painful memories
wounds that oozed and refused to heal
stripping each scar from her body
and in turn destroying the scent
of lemon and honey
her mother’s blanket that kept her warm
on those harsh winter nights;
those bygone things and people
were no longer enough
Dark spots on asphalt
Traces of an overnight storm
The city slept through
Every spring the birds court their mates
and through the summer raise their young.
In autumn, they fly thousands of miles south.
In winter, the bare-limbed trees reveal the hidden nests
that they built in the spring.
Many lives lived season to season,
while I live only one through the years.
Upon waking, bad dreams
that dissipate into smoke
still linger with a foul stench
you say i’m oversentimental;
with a passing storm
my feelings shift
as if my love were built on sand
a hard rain demolishes
the tenuous trust between us
Pale pink petals unfurl
Minute against budding branches
Lingering chill of winter