Su Ling In The Caravan

Su Ling


She draws out wings, exposing the naked shape of the butterfly..                                                                                                                      Tang Da Hong

My black hair is straighter than theirs,

my skin more gold than brown;

but in this camp by the river bank

we’re mostly the same settling down


to rest and catch our breath.

The night comes robed in sackcloth and prayer.

No longer an atheist

that’s how I perceive the twilit air


needing to weep, perhaps atone.

My family is still in Beijing

with a farm to tend and fees to pay.

I’ve overlooked their suffering


to pursue my freedom of faith

and will. The others lament in old

dialects while the fire rants

in wayward sparks that mute the cold.


Orange specks flying here or there,

I’ve seem them flare in other ways

when butterflies skimmed the grass

mindless of  the hours or days


it took to travel  this far north —

a sweeping caravan of wings.

At the moment, my nerves broke loose

and became those splendored beings


who held the power to defy

borders and bandits in their haste

to smuggle drugs and leave their poor

on acres of heat and scrubland waste.


And at the moment,  there was no fear

or guilt shadowing the breeze,

just a miracle of monarchs sent

to put my restless  mind at ease.



5 replies on “Su Ling In The Caravan”

I enjoyed the way you lead the reader to assemble the scene a bit at a time rather than dump it all in their lap with a bunch of narration; much more effective this way.



Heartbreaking to think of the displaced children, but what a beautiful
and spiritual close. It transcends all the sorrows of this earth as it reminds
that we are never truly alone and that no one is unimportant or unnoticed.
It also reminds us that the children of the world are our children and their
dreams matter. My thanks to you, dear Poet.


Dear Michael and Sarah

Thank you both so much for your interest in this poem and insight. I deeply appreciate it!

Take care


Thanks so much Craig

for stopping by to read and comment on my poetry! I am glad you enjoyed this one and sincerely appreciate your interest in my work.

My Best,


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s