Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chewat




Ask him and he’ll tell you
he grew so old by being
wary of ghosts and the tricks
they will play to make us sick.

When he was young,
the family story goes, he
shot a man and escaped
two provinces over where
he hid out and eventually
had a large family including
my wife’s father.

Now in his 104th year, he still
takes care of himself save for
food.  He sharpens his tools,
makes baskets and even mends
his own clothes.

Yesterday, I stood barely a yard
away from him watching him
ever so slowly, stitch up a tear
over a breast pocket. His hearing
and eye sight are so poor, he was
unaware of my presence, and as I
escaped, and walked  away
I felt as if I was one of his ghosts
 – as if the spirit tables somehow  
had been turned and we had gone
through the looking glass.  I felt
this strange way until I made
the corner of my own house, and
he started singing behind me,
singing for no reason at all.

FG  5/19/2014





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