This poem is a memoir of my mother’s time during the Khmer Rouge time. It was about when she got a chance to spend time with her father for the last time before he was taken away.
We hugged him, my younger sister and I,
We knew something was going to happen.
We hugged him so tight that he couldn’t move,
We guessed life wasn’t that smooth.
We didn’t talk but we communicated –
My voice cried “Don’t go, Daddy – please stay!”
He said nothing but our hearts prayed.
His inner voice said, “Hug me as much as you can”.
We didn’t cry as we saw him walk
away, that was the last day that we talked.
We said nothing but cried hard inside.
Lives, life, don’t leave him.
We still smell his chest,
warm, with his own smell, the best,
something we never want to lose.
Khmer Rouge, Khmer Rouge, we know you took him.
And nothing could bring our father back.
And I still haven’t given myself a break
To talk about him – and his smell –
Though he left far away IT remains with me.