F o o t p r i n t s of Loneliness

Tina Chang6TinaChang5

F o o t p r i n t s of Loneliness

I am hunted by my father’s lack of approval
And haunted by my mother’s naiveté
How a family can live on inside
A psyche, for good or ill, but one day

Our parents die; we may even lose touch with a brother
The empire in which we were born
Might lose its world-power and prestige

Taunted by a ruined name, we live on
With each version of our childhood we remember
We must pass a threshold of regret

And carry a student’s debt into the decades
I don’t know if it’s secrets which I carry
Or simply the dread of ancestors and descendants
The broken chain that started with me

Hypnotized by shadows, too poor to settle anyhow
Our ovaries will dry up one day
And my fleshy handle won’t be operative

If I were a dream you could say I unravelled
My mortality, but truth does not matter here
Only that answers we tell ourselves at the end of a long day
And the souls who save us with kindness and security.

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