Mother's Day, post two poems to remember my mother
Great Grace and Bloody Blubbering *
Here lies my dear mother, her name is Jian-Zhen;
she came from a family, wealthy and literary:
talented in writing, skillful with calligraphy,
scholarly in Chinese classics and history.
She married my father, named Ming-Duo,
they really loved and respected each other.
She was diligent, prudent with household affairs,
gracious and friendly with relatives and villagers.
Destruction came with “The Liberation”:
her husband was killed, her son fled.
All that was left were six daughters;
they huddled, trembled, and wept.
In hardship, with hard work, she raised them;
in misery, they survived, and were educated.
One day, one was drowned by forced labor,
adding more sorrow to her suffering fate.
No any message came from her only son,
she stared at the gate and distance everyday.
All her daughters were far-off dispersed,
separately they took her broken heart away.
Beaten by persecutions, also tribulations,
her body damaged, her mind distressed.
Bitten by poverty, agony, and disease,
she died amidst tears and bitterness.
Her unusual courage and virtues
were known widely, even overseas.
Her unequaled love and favor to us
were deeper and wider than four seas.
Now, we children want to repay her.
But, how can we? Yet, it’s too late!
Kneeling on earth, look to heaven.
How to vent our sorrow and hate?
I, her helpless son,
wrote this, on my knees,
with tears of blood,
and fury – and shame.
* This poem was first written in Chinese and later engraved
on my mother’s tombstone as an epitaph in July,1989
when I first time visit my long-departed homeland.
On Qing-ming, or Spring Grave Day in April, 2002,
I moved and buried my father’s remains beside my mother’s,
then re-engraved this poem on their mutual new tombstone.
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