On June 17, 2017, a Chinese TV Program called “Wait for Me,” based on finding lost relatives of different families and uniting them togethers after decades of separation, broadcasted an episode about a 50-year-old man who spent 18 years of his life going across approximately 300 cities and towns in China to find his lost son. The last time the son was seen by the father was a train station, where the son was kidnapped and sold off in a horrific act of human trafficking. In the process of finding his child, this 50-year old man was able to find over 50 lost or kidnapped orphans and return them to their parents, making him a national hero. However, not only was he unable to find his son on the show, but just a few days before taping, the man’s mother passed away at 86 years of age. This poem is a fictional rendition of this man’s journey and story.
Walk up three steps to the door,
See “Welcome” on the floor,
The dust of 18 years’ takes it’s toll.
The lock and key are a familiar sound,
The sound of a child from home unbound,
Who with his stick and string walks out to the world,
a world which is his oyster.
He opens the door to a window of his past,
when night was slow and day was fast,
And now he sees the scene once more,
but it’s much less sweet and instead sore,
To see a lifeless room of ash and tears.
The only sound to crack the silence,
are the tears of a broken tap,
and the screams of a tempest outside.
He scours the house for a sign of life,
only to see photos of child, husband and wife,
a story that should be left 18 years ago.
“Thomas?” a whisper of noise from above,
the sound of grace from the elegance of a dove.
Is that his mother? Who is his mother?
It’s the sound of sorrow in a rock-hard bed
On top a limp body, soul and head,
“Mother,” he utters, back to 18 years ago,
when he screamed, and left to find him again.
And now, 18 years, he is back.
Gained nothing but a heart attack.
The dusty welcome mat on the floor.
The lock and key a familiar sound.
The lifeless room of ash and tears.
A broken photo of child, husband and wife.
A memory to the worst in life.
In a lifeless room of ash and tears,
the sun will always peep through cracks,
and the love of a man will always be back,
and though the bed is solid as stone,
the warmth of the mother that comes from her own,
is enough to make home alive again.
And all he can hear her say,
As on the rock-hard bed that his mother lays: