It was not like I allowed it to happen.
My arms were weak as twigs
And my heart thumped like a thunderstorm.
The day he left the house.
His right arm waved farewell to me and Mama.
From a distance through the unwashed windowpane,
He wasn’t like a butterfly fluttering its wings
for the last time.
His lanky 6’1 build stood stiff and stoic like a bronze statue,
His back frame faced me.
I imagined his full scarlet lips closed tight.
He would move with an unhurried gesture.
As if hesitating,
Maybe he was waiting…
Waiting for me and Mama to tell him not to leave.
The day he left,
I could hear his son, an infant
First carried out of his wife’s womb,
It wasn’t like his hands were handcuffed behind his back.
He was free to go.
Mama said so.
Glancing out of the broken windows,
Her silent expression was stressed.
He took no noticed of her wrinkled, weary face,
which concealed her cried tears of last night.
my heart kept thumping.
It wasn’t like I wanted him to abandon his past.
I saw her situated by the dark gloomy gates,
her round belly protruded,
From the dusty window, her black hair
fell straight down her broad shoulders.
He would brush the long bleak strands
cascading down her cheerless face.
Her fake smile already missed him.
He could tell.
He didn’t dwell too long,
so he quickened his pace.
Kissed her on her pale chilly cheek.
And waved goodbye to me and Mama.
He never turned back around.
This is a reprint of work originally published in Dimsum: Asia’s Literary Journal.
Ha Kiet Chau is a poet and freelance writer. She teaches art and literature in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her writings have appeared or are forthcoming in Plougshares, Asia Literary Review, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Bedtime-Story, Marco Polo, and many others.