So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild

<i>So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed</i> - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild
A poetic journey with the poet's missionary grandparents to the China they served in between 1923 and 1951. CHECK OUT THE REVIEWS OF BOTH BOOKS (below)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Poem: A CHINESE EVANGELIST (October 1926)

They love darkness because their deeds
-----are evil
I love it because I slipped away
The room dark --like the shadow of a
-----sheltering wing
They lined us up
I took a deep breath --hit the floor
& rolled under a bed
lying for two nights beneath the robber------chief’s breathing
more his prisoner than when he had me
He inhaled --I inhaled --He exhaled --I
sleeping & not sleeping
the nightmare of their game --again &

--They line up ten men
--How much land do you own?
--The first says --three acres
--& they shoot him
--The second man lies --eight acres
--& they shoot him
--The third says --fifteen
--They shoot him when they find he lied

My fellow evangelist died --in truth --this
When I redream it I am in the line
or they drag me from beneath the bed

Each waking I try not to move
my limbs silently scream --surrender
but there’s purpose in my escape
they hiss --strangle out the breathing
but I pray for deliverance
some other way

When moving out --the breathing’s voice
check under the beds
but they miss one --& I escape

(This poem first appeared in The Fiddlehead)

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