Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Friday, November 7, 2014

On Leaving America

My five-year-old son hung upside down,
summersaulting in air from a rail he held
on to in the departure lounge.  My ten-year-old
son told me years later that he was torn
between hugging me or shaking hands,
and my little girl adrift in a world that could
only be fun at three, simply hung back.

I didn’t want to leave, but leave I did and now
God knows can never go back. 

I’m sitting in a packed, Thai, narrow-gauge
railroad car, and looking out an open
window – there is no air conditioning on
these trains that were bought second hand
from Japan – and I see my three kids again.
They’re  standing  by themselves in a field.
Some one has given them each a small
American flag to wave, but they just hold
them . . . and then they’re  gone. 

FG  11/7/2014

The only place I could find work in 1992 when I was in my forties was overseas in Saudi Arabia.  It was unaccompanied employment and, except for emergency leave, I had to be in-country for a year to qualify for leave.  Sadly, I doubt even that option exists for men in their forties today.  Ah, America.


Blogger Marvin Lowe said...

It must have been the hardest thing you had to do in your life. I hope you have found happiness and contentment in you life today. It such a dramatic change from life in Goffstown.

Even though I have passed the 70 year mark and for the most part have a happy yet uneventful life, my early years of summer spent with my cousin Bessie on Spring Street and that little kid Beanie who lived across the street always bring fond memories. Something about Goffstown and the small town atmosphere.

Your forgotten Friend, Marv Lowe

November 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Forrest said...

Thanks for writing, Marvin. It was difficult to leave, but actually a few weeks before I was suicidal about being out of work. Getting the job in Saudi actually perked me up a little. Sad to say, this was not the most desperate moment in my life. My first marriage ended in divorce. We had a son moderate effected with cerebral palsy. We were both working full time jobs – and it got to be too much. We got divorced and my son died during elective surgery. My wife and her friends at Easter Seals didn’t even tell me about the operation until the night before. I became deeply suicidal then, too. So it goes.

November 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM  

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