Broken dreams

wirey eyebrows
jaundice eyes
downward mouth
callus hands
hunched back
bukled knees
worn shoes
portrait of a grumpy old man

velvet hair
button nose
dimple cheeks
chubby arms
round belly
cutesy feet
giggling laughter
picture of a happy boy

what happened in between?
is time the only tyrant?

the bruises on his mother
inflicted upon by his father
she ran for her life
he was left sobbing
in grandma’s arms

a new mother came
the family growing
leader in the pack
took all the beatings
motherless and wounded

dreamt to be a pilot
flying away from all the pain
freedom on the horizon
stringent exams green light to go
ecstatically ready

the Red party shattered his dream
‘your father is a National’
‘your mother is a runaway wife’
‘the party needs you to reform’
‘you are going to till the ground’

10 years of cultural revolution
dirt, leeches and buffalo manure
10 years of youth, poof
in rice field landscape
bamboo forest by the stream and waterfall

a boy’s broken dreams
after hard day of work
let out in the smoke pipe
evaporised in the mountains
echoed amidst the dejected souls

– dedicated to my father

Published by

Cassa Bassa

🇦🇺🇨🇳 inquisitive, observant, witty, a thinker, was a misfit child 😊

6 thoughts on “Broken dreams”

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