Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Old Woman in Hong Kong, leaning on a wall...

Larry says you're a poem, not a story, but it is your story that draws me in.  We saw you when we arrived and now you are here again as if to mark our leaving.

You stand by the wall, peering down, morning after morning - watching the people as they come and go.  The parents, taking children to school, lovers who've just tumbled out of bed on their way to work, husbands and
wives, mother going to market, nannies with babies.  Dogs.

You watch them all as you stand at your wall - your caregiver at your side.  I imagine that you are standing on an egg crate, some kind of a box, just high enough for you to perch your elbow on this wall.

In this sea of high rises the wall that surrounds you stands out.  It is low, perhaps not six feet high, made of stone.  Behind it I can see houses, trees.  I like to think that it is a small village, a remnant of the past, and when you are gone it will be gone too.  If we come back in a year or more, I'm sure this enclosure in which you dwell will be torn down.  It cannot survive you.

I long to peek behind, to walk in the door that is always open on Mosque Road.  I peer in and can see the shabby huts that comprise the neighborhood where you dwell.  I am curious.  I want to know what goes on behind this wall.  I want to see where you live, to walk in your garden.  I want to step inside your trailer or your house.

Instead I watch you, watching.  If someone waves, you greet them.  Otherwise your eyes just follow the flow of the escalators, the sea of humanity that flows by as we sit across the way in a cafe, watching you watch them.

Life streams by and you are old.

What is your story?  Or is it a poem? Is the caregiver your daughter as I'd like to believe?  Or a loyal daughter-in-law?  Have you loved someone?  Is he gone?  When did he leave you?

My eyes are filled with tears as life passes you by.  You are my mother.  When I look back, you are already turning to leave.  

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your sketch and journal pages even as much as I enjoyed the poignant glimpse of the old woman still loving life.