Peeling the Onion
Written for Father’s Day by poetryplusuk
The green tomato in the neighbour’s front garden,
Tinted red like the face of a maiden.
It was a much smaller one you found in the end,
two miles around village fields
I rode on your shoulders, Malaria did I suffer,
Crying for a ripe tomato to quench high fever.
Rape flowers gilt your farm where the harrow,
turned over by startled buffalo,
Blood sprang out your foot into the paddy rice field,
as the flection of setting sun dilute and blend.
Standing on the bank I was speechless in admiration,
as you plastered the wound with mud and kept on ploughing.
The railway station was enlarged with the city,
which witnessed my high street shop of doomed destiny.
You took care of my baby girl and the divorcee’s revenge ,
to liberate my broken soul in search of refuge.
Years since we departed I came to reunion,
to a shocking discovery of your memory in oblivion.
Seated at the airport of a metropolitan,
the place I settle in confidence and secure position.
waiting for the flight to start our trip around the country.
from the south, a seaside city,
Where you visit to check my first job in dumpling kitchen,
On a train journey of two nights, no seats.
Next stop to the north, the mountainous region,
Where I adored their self-respect in deprivation.
To see my students you have known by photos,
and people you supported with cash in letters.
Only if family bond didn’t drag me home to marry the wrong person,
Only if I hadn’t dreamed to live next to your protection.
Dad, I would still be a teacher,
Rhyming with my students and flying kites in summer.
You point at the ticket and again nervously question,
the twelveth time as to where you will be taken.
I remember you, your words start to flow,
not by name but to where you have taken my girl.