“What’s wrong, daddy?” her voice inquires

“Don’t Cry, it’ll be ok,”

“I’m not, there’s something in my eye,”

God damn this bloody day.

 

“I’m sleeping at my new house today,”

She innocently states,

She shouts to mum, who’s packing toys,

“Come on, or we’ll be late!”

 

I feel just like the Tin-Man felt

When Dorothy said “goodbye,”

A searing sickness in my gut

Just, me, myself and I.

 

I think back to that hospital,

That day back in Beijing,

When I first held her in my arms

Felt like a king of kings.

 

The stubborn little sod took hours,

Unaware of my “thing” for time

Could never abide such tardiness,

But I overlooked her crime.

 

Learning how to be a dad

That summer was such a joy

I was so proud of my little beaut

My tiny Helen of Troy.

 

She reinstilled my childlike awe

I’d thought it was long gone

Her smile could melt this cynic’s heart,

As cygnet turned to swan.

 

That day she was called a “mongrel dog”

My twisted, livid rage,

My hands, his throat, pinned to a wall

A tiger, poked, uncaged.

 

I knew that moment; time to flee

Back to the motherland

My Chinese journey died right there

My wrath could not expand.

 

She can’t remember China now,

Denied her of her roots

She’s blossomed in this northern town

Decision bearing fruits.

 

It sounds so trite, I’m aware of this,

Our bond will not unweave

In spite of unforeseen betrayal

Forever thick as thieves.

 

She’s standing right beside me now,

She thinks she’s all grown up,

“I can help you mend your hurting eyes.”

I curse the path I took.

 

It’s all one big adventure to her,

“I have two houses now!

‘Cos you and mummy fight so much,

It’s for the best, you know.”

 

She gives me one of her “magic” hugs

And kisses me on the cheek,

“I love you, daddy, see you tomorrow.”

This pain will last for weeks.

 

The door slams shut, and off she goes,

With that, Act One: the end.

Act Two begins with floods of tears,

A broken heart to mend.

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