drawing water

drawing water
                         for N.

Morning fires
Ulaanbaatar

a girl just
good for
carrying
water
in buckets
back uphill
balanced
hard across
her shoulders
lighting the
morning fire
in a house of
brothers
washing
everyone’s
clothes
grew to
a woman
drawing
sorrow
only
dying
kicked over.

your stepmother
called you
‘yak’
for being
untaught
unteachable
walking like
a man
she said

i would
keep you
with me
for that
alone.

may it still
be with you
wherever
you roam

in a
fresh world
born of a
new heart
growing
like the day
drawing water
with a touch
of your
eye.

beijing
october 2011

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