close
Uncategorized

a nod to all those who’ve raised me

Words by Vanessa Liao

 

 

little children

 

caressed in the arms of not their own 

 

kind

but the kind that glistens, pale

 

pearly white in the summer 

sun

 

little children 

 

raised in fields of letters and numbers

playing games of ‘memory’ with the alphabets

they tell you will create

this word (correctly)

or that word (incorrectly)

 

little children

 

and their lunchtime 

lunch 

boxes

packed to the brim

an aquarium of flavours and aromas

 

captured directly from the streets

of

a land far, far away from here

are huddled in the corner

shielding themselves

from

all the words that bite.

 

and I hate to ruin this moment

of wishing your arms were 

mine 

to 

keep

because if I held your arms

they would protect me

from all this world that we breathe

 

nothing you could ever say or do,

no apology,

no offerings of hot tea, 

or

fruit cut up in bowls 

would shield your offspring from the wrath –

 

of sharp, piercing beaks of birds of prey

 

and you could try with all your might

 

to raise a child of resilience

a child of pride

a child of

home

and it would still

never

be

enough.

 

when I look back

 

on the decades that have passed

turning pages 

as 

go

one takes me to Saturday school

 

one to summer holidays

 

in a land far from here,

and another to my own

four walls

enclosed are all the years’ laughter

tears, screams and lies.

I’ve told myself 

 

it’s okay to live a life

 

of fabrication

they don’t need to know

 

how the sacrifices have fallen

straight

 

into the 

 

ground

 

and nothing else

will rebuild me

 

like these wings I deserve to grow,

 

once again

 

on

my

own

 

journey

home.

 

Vanessa Liao

The author Vanessa Liao

Leave a Response