Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Anger



My first night in this room, before the A/C
had even been wired, my Thai wife’s mother and
father, along with her aunt and uncle sat just
outside my open window and talked and talked
all night. I felt like an old French king on his
wedding night with members of the aristocracy
in attendance to witness a sexual consummation.
My wife and I had been traveling for months
and she slept soundly for her first night back in
a solid room that had been no more than
a corrugated tin shack before she left.   More
than this, the babble of voices speaking in
a language I did not then understand was like
a white noise that sedated her even more.

The old woman’s mind is going or gone now.
Everyone she sat with then has passed,
but in the late afternoon before dusk, she
sits in the same spot and cajoles, harangues,
and flat out bitches at either my wife or her
oldest daughter or at no one at all. If my
wife is within earshot she yells back at her. 
She’s sick I say; you’re not helping.   Trembling
with rage my wife says she thinks I’m a baby.

Who are you talking to? I ask as I leave the house.
She has round doll-like eyes and she raises one
arm as if it were pulled by a string.  They robbed
me she yells over and over. They robbed me.

I turn and walk away.  Like a child I can ignore
anger directed at someone else because this
is a culture I do not understand.

The late afternoon is a beautiful time in winter
here.  I had nothing to do with any theft, did I?

FG  1/25/2015

Manwan, Chunky’s mother, is a diabetic.  And I think these episodes are brought on by her illness.

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