Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dear Tiananmen Square

Dear Tiananmen Square:
We were conceived together, you and I
We shadow each other
We are kindred

You were born out of death, a country torn and divided
While I was still a burgeoning hope, not yet ready for the world
But we were announced to the world at the same time
An accusatory message there, a celebrated one here -
They both were read with tears, though not of the same strain.

Dear Tianamen Square:
We were dedicated to our causes at the same time.
With the diligence of youth we were presented to the world
They lifted their voices, proudly proclaiming,
"Here and now we solemnly promise to see this through
"No matter the cost."

You and I, we didn't know what that meant then.
We didn't know how we would grow.
We only knew that we were in the hands of those who cared so much.

Dear Tianamen Square:
We're really of the same character - stubborn and reckless,
Inciting anger among those who don't understand
Ready to be the face of the fight.
It's only later that we wonder if we meant to do it at all.
If I had known, would I have acted differently?
If you had known, would you have?

Would I have spoken out?  Would I have quieted myself?
Would you have shaken, toppling buildings and cracking roads apart?
Would we have been happy with our courses had we known their outcomes?
I can't be sure.  Can you?

Dear Tianamen Square:
We both know what it is to be under a strict reign.
We both know what it is to rebel against it.
We both know what it is to face consequences we didn't expect.

We are united by our opposites.
My blood was drawn as you drank in that which fell on you.
My skin was pricked as shells rebounded off of you.
I screamed out for my mother, as you heard the screams echoing around you, in you.
And then we breathed the silence:
Me in my temporary comfort and you eternalized as that without it.

Dear Tianamen Square:
We are both unended, unsure, a story left unfinished.
The question lingers:
What happened to him - the man who was so bold?
Did you encourage him in your own stalwart way?
Would you do the same for me, as I endeavor to fill his shoes?

Will you watch over me or are you tired?
Are you still washing away the blood that is deep within you now?
Have you seen the ends of actions?
Have you given into the silence?
Or are you still bold, only waiting?

Tianamen Square timeline and news reports

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