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.