As he lay sleeping..


My father is sleeping
on the bare wooden floor.
He hasn’t woken up though
we have visitors today.
Lots of them sit around my father;
their backs to the open door.
Why, I thought, did my father go to sleep
on this bare wooden floor
as his bed lies inside,
waiting for him?


Then I realized the shocking truth

and my eyes filled with tears.

I wailed and ran to a corner,

trying not to cry.


I had lost my favorite kite.

Blue and white

With a bright green ribbon.

How can I fly it now?


I did not understand

why the visitors looked at me

with tears in their eyes?

I didn’t understand anything.

Not why my father didn’t wake up yet.

Nor why my mother continued to cry.

I knew

I shouldn’t make noise

till my father wakes up.

But I had to tell him about my kite.

Running to him,

I pulled his arms.

Father, I cried, wake up!

Someone stole my kite.

Uncle pushed my hand away

and carried me outside.

As his hand bound me against him,

I felt the tears on his cheek.

My heart,

already broken by my kite,

quivered in panic.

Why, I asked him, won’t my father wake up?

Your father, he started,

choking on his tears,

Your father went to heaven.

My heart filled with relief,

I had thought something bad had happened.

But this was like when

he went to New York City.

When he did, I remembered,

he brought me lots of cars.

My father had only gone to heaven.

That isn’t so bad.

But my mother is still crying.

Her kohl creeps down her cheeks.

Resting my head on her shoulders,

I asked,

did you see my kite?

Son, she cried, now

we’re all alone.

Your father passed away.

Don’t worry, I said again,

for she loved my kite too,

Father will get me a new one

as soon as he is back.

A tall man in white

put my father in a big

hole.

Why, I wondered, were they putting

mud on top of him?

Why are they killing

my father?

Why isn’t my mother

stopping them?

I screamed these thoughts

as they looked at me with tears

in their eyes.

A lady in deep purple took my hand in hers

and picked up some soil.

With her, I threw it on my own father’s

body.

I could hear him scream.

The funeral killed my father.

The mud stopped his voice.

They put pillars on the ground

into my father’s bones.

Now, my father’s gone.

And there’s no one else

to find my little kite.

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