Poem: mother

If you feel the hatred
of the 300 who died beside you
breasts dry
bones blackening waxpaper 
if you feel rage toward China
eating beaten 
leather again and again
in each telling
rip you
30 years in jail
off beaten shoes
your son torn from you drowned
your daughter restored at 27
whom you cannot call
if you feel laughter that
love of silence
goes on and on and on
out a jail window like a seabird
soaring the horizon
on and
let the nyingma lama
also a prisoner
smoke incense sticks 
on the left shoulder
and below the heart
move slowly toward
and to the right
smokes up
87 years
with woodencane
three times around the kora
darkmountain Dharamsala
every morning
at 3 AM


Ama (Mother) Adhe spoke to the 16 of us from the University of Denver at Tibet World in Dharmsala.  For an account of an earlier talk and another poem “Counting” about her story, see here and here.