For you are now free

When I held your head in my arms, shaking and trembling,
I hoped to find, in some forlorn vein, a little throbbing.
But there was none. Neither a pulse, nor a smile,
nor did an angel of miracle appear to beguile.
And amidst the panic rescue thrusts to your chest,
you laid calm, almost like you were put to rest.

I don’t know what it was that hit me first.
Was it the scathing blades of sorrow, or
unbenign, unrelenting waves of pure guilt?
I should have pondered then. But I thought no more.
“I was only a shout away”, I told myself.

During that wretched ride to the hospital,
there were voices in my head, silent yet sure,
I couldn’t drown them, however I tried,
and I felt that first pang of guilt, always pure.
A teardrop escaped me, into the night,
lost in the seemingly unending ride,
I told myself, ‘there was surely a pulse!’,
and in that thought, for a moment, I could hide.

But when the doctor invited me into the room,
my legs had failed, and my lungs felt dry,
it was not just the countless cigarettes I smoked,
but also the feebleness of my worthless try.
Forgive me, but I knew it before he said it.
“she’s gone”, he whispered… And I didn’t cry.

In free ‘Nam you were born, but now,
in the free world you will be.
There are no visas, nor immigrations
in your upcoming journey.
Your backpack was light,
but your burdens were heavy,
Yeah, it was a bloody, pathetic world,
and you were in a flightless bevy.

No more now. Leave behind all your
shackles, chains and all the little things.
That tie you down to the grounded earth,
and the pain and sorrow that it always brings.
Leave them now, for you are now free
to hear the sweet music when the angels sing.
Leave them now, for you are now free
to feel the cool wind beneath your wings.

For Felicia Le (20/4/1992 – 21/7/2013)



About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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