(A shorter version of this poem is published in “Picking Off New Shoots Will Not Stop the Spring” beside many powerful poems and essays to express the outrage, grief, pain and a strong desire for change in Myanmar against the oppressive military regime. Many thanks to editors Ko Ko Thett and Brain Haman.)
You have walked a long way, across historical upheaval and emotional downturn, with a soul too innocent to hate in a world incomplete without pain. Holding onto a dream too heavy for a close-minded reality, you outlived the survival of an unjust world to share the story of a spring revolution.
Tell me little sister, what was your name?
Those beautiful eyes that danced with a longing for a safe future had missed its turn because of a sinister bullet. Blood spilled vivid beside a life let down with hate. The peaceful days you adored so much marked a memory you became a part of. Tragedies followed but these stories were no more for bedtime. It’s hard to embrace a childhood when colors were bleaching in the pool of ego and greed.
Tell me big sister, when they took your patient away, did you struggle, did you gasp?
For a hope that had failed you never look back twice. Holding on a chance so intimate…so fragile, reciting words of Gandhi like how a believer of love and peace would, because you decided this wasn’t what we deserved. History repeated with leftover problems once downplayed for the future of prosperity.
Tell me big brother when the injustice knocked on your door that night, did you hide in your nightmare, afraid and alone?
Living in this paralytic world, you chose to challenge the order and joined the Civil Disobedience Movement in service of humanity for freedom. That day, starlight stood paralyzed between opposing realities of black and white. With only a small backpack you crossed the border to a foreign land, leaving the pride of your uniform in a distant dream, forever ashamed. You were on the wrong side of another scripted lie they designed.
Tell me little brother, did the world you see hurt you more than the bullet in your flesh?
Your call for a rescue went flat line, dead bodies piling high on overdosed terrorscape. Uncertain, unshaken, never thought the next one…