Maibandu, Are You Safe?
I know Maibandu in my mind, and in her letters,
But letters that are written with helping hands.
I see, in little images, the long-past deaths–
Father, Brothers, Play-palls–of
Men and boys gone sooner than imagined.
I see, in yellowed images, Mothers, Sisters, and She-too, raped.
I see her safe now, but the image is too blurry for me.
I see her in school,
I see her working the family plot, and
I see her jumping rope.
Still, years on now, I see no smile.
Maibandu, are you safe as I imagine?
Does a smile yet turn up your lips?
I never see a smile yet.
I never see the image large.
I yearn for the images close.
I yearn for touches and smiles seen close.
Do you see me, Maibandu? How small is my image?
© Tom Bolton, Milwaukee, 03/09/2012