Monday, November 08, 2010

Poem: "Sons and Daughters"

Sons and Daughters

The women in our family do not die, my sister.
They live in their sons they favor over their daughters.
They live in their daughters as the unfavored.

The mother of our mother still sits enthroned
in her rosewood heart. She grieves for her first son
cut down by death. No son should go before his mother.

Her second son was bewitched by a fox spirit
into marriage. Her third was wrapped up with a snake.
Her fourth, the precious, migrated to Australia.

She was loud in her disappointments and loves,
louder still when ordering our mother and aunt around,
the ash from her cigarette graying the couch cushions.

She could not be pleased by women. They are not men.
They are faulty at birth, and grow faultier with the years.
The women in our family do not die, my sister.

You know this history of unfairness by heart.
Could this be why your body gave birth to girls,
to reserve all a mother's favor for the faultless?

And could this be why my body favors a man's,
with all our family's favors and faults mixed in,
so that I will not have to love daughters and sons?


Jeff said...

Loved it. :o)

Looking forward to more!!

Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks, Jeff.