a young man in white

man under umbrella

Amidst the din and the fury of the storm
the acrid and steamy heat, the fat raindrops that fell in rivulets down gutters
the percussion as they hit on the cars and the roofs, the blaring horns
the cacophony of the scurrying pedestrians, bicycles, trishaw drivers
school children and traffic all wending their way;
I saw a young man in white under a waxed umbrella
continuing unconcerned:
calm, unhurried, as if in a reverie
he came into my vision like an exercise in zen
Then he stooped under an awning
into the depths of a herbalist shop.
I caught my breath, awed by this impression of serenity
would he be caught in the same Confucian morass
convinced in the jaundiced prejudice for the male child
assured in his chauvinistic pride of place?
would he believe in karma ?
would he delegate disability to neuter me even more
to a life without passion and love?
That scar, still raw and red from childhood
denigrates my sense of womanhood
that I was chaan fai, useless, destined as one of life’s debris.
I have never sought the love of the men of my race
for fear of that image mirrored in their dark eyes
my self esteem fragile, slowly built abroad
in the land of strangers.
Now, I catch myself daring to look at men
and secretly weave a dream
for a talisman to bind up those ancient wounds
for the girl child who would allow herself to be
healed back into the fold.
(written in1997)