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                                                                                                Wendy Saw


yesterday was beautiful

your eyes were soft
and you held pain
fragile in each iris,
but when i dream
your hands grow smooth
and i am six again,
and we are flying kites
on the hill past the town
where dusk is trapped
and cannot breathe
the air beneath our feet,
nor feel the winds laugh
through our fingertips.

the kite strings hum,
and when you take me home,
it feels as if i will always be six. 



in memento mori

i want to write about how i never slept again,
not even when i drowned myself in home movies.

i want to write about summer,
and how much they remind me of my father.

i want to write about why i don't cry,
why the sky doesn't feel as pure as it used to,
why it doesn't breathe as softly
as the years of my childhood.

i want to colour my pages with affection
and crayons, i want to smear my fingers with
paints and stray lines, crooked
like my father's smile
but never as smooth as the line which
ran across his palms,
never as perfect;

that day he taught me how to ride
on two wheels, hold tight don't let go
i won't let you fall and i fell away,
grasping smooth handlebars
my green bike floating
above ground
and when i look back,

i can't see him anymore,
it's all just a blur of months,
chemo, hunger, wet pillows,
appointments and phone calls,
morphine vials;

that hospital smell,
drips, warfarin and blood tests,
and every night

i still dream of the past,
still see his face each time i breathe,
each time i drive past the dim sum house
where we thought that we would live forever;

each incense stick i light
colours in blank pages, drowns in smoke,
dries eyes and the urge to swim away,
back into black and white where photographs
still laugh and music boxes remind me of birthdays.



lone thoughts, not quite a poem

these nights
the window closes inwards
and i search for your hand
beneath the sheets
to tangle into my fingers.

i curl ours together
and hope that you notice
me adoring you

but i am too late--
always too late
and you are already asleep.



sadako and the thousand paper cranes

even though her fingers are broken,
she painstakingly crafts every last crane,
each one a child's symbol of heavenly wish.

a chill wind rustles up dead leaves

arms fall gentle to her lap,
translucent eyelids whisper gently shut.
the half folded crane sinks slowly into the cold, hard floor.

into the freezing skies
where asuras clash and give birth to stars,
celestial beings shed their tears
and mourn the passing of a single heartbeat.

three breaths short of a thousand for a wish to be granted,
three delicate cranes short of life.

"This is our cry,
This is our prayer,
Peace in the world"



on learning to observe

see with fingers, he says.
don't worry about falling,
there is a pillow on the ground
and if you are still scared,
hold on to my hand.

so i close my eyes
and when he exhales,
i float above a half breath
leaving on whim,

drifting away on a leaf
that smells like autumn;
we are drifting far away

and if i should open my eyes,
he will tell me that i am hovering
somewhere between the sky and earth,

and he will say that if i close my eyes,
we will never have to move from here.



february stories from the blinking sky

these are long days
spent in slow burn at bus shelters,
waiting to return home for night.

the evening backyard is a wasteland
of ethereal year old bones, dying plants
and ghosts too lethargic to leave.

i have spent hours counting clocks
and watching their hands melt
across the waiting seasons;
wayward angels withdrawn by god.

i once took a photograph of you
with the corners softly rounded,
you look down with such serenity.
age has browned the paper though;
a sprawling involuntary sepia
creeps through the creases in a frozen moment.

when the night time humidity
seeps slowly into my fingernails,
i wonder if you can, just this once tonight,
resurrect yourself and come back home to me,
to steal stories from my backyard once again.



dim sum in the city

my mother holds my hand,
teaches me how to use chop sticks
in that restaurant clouded with
dim sum trays, chinese chatters
and steam from dishes.

i squirm against the ebony hardwood;
a rag doll in high pigtails,
lacy dress, puffed sleeves,
prisoner in my own chair as it eclipses me.

my brothers and i fill porcelaine cups,
pouring until the jasmine tea spills onto
the spotless white tablecloth,
mother tells us to stop.

we drink and eat,
and we play with those slender sticks,
making music against the teacups--
a chinese styled symphony orchestra.

our faces smudge
with grease and sauce,
father tells us to go to
the toilet before leaving,
and i remember the park
on a sunday afternoon
next to the river,

we are imprinted onto
the gates of the gods,
never to be forgotten.



                                                                                                © Wendy Saw

triple rule

Loch Raven Review Winter 2005 — Vol. I, No. 2
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