A Trick of the Light
That night, lightning knitted her a new face.
When the thunder slapped her ancestral home,
the current traced the floor to her teenage feet.
She was darning socks on the corner chair.
Six days earlier the family photo
had preserved her still pretty face
in one flash. Brothers and sisters wearing
matching pyjamas and borrowed shoes,
posed with red books, which appeared black.
Today, when she looked at her aging siblings
and their offspring, she did not see herself.
She was the constant stranger whose face
did not belong. Their relentless kids
hid and sought in the shadows
of the antique house, while illuminated
pigeons pecked at bread crumbs she left
in the courtyard.
There were rare moments, when the sunlight shone
on the tip of her nose. The only part that
was not utterly changed, they said. In those
seconds, she no longer felt estranged,
as if given back her youth.
By Tammy Ho Lai-MingQLRS Vol. 9 No. 1 Jan 2010