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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Chin

Reading in Myanmar: They were five

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

No pictures, just some words describing a scene while waiting for a flight in the domestic terminal at Yangon Airport.

They were five Off the plane Crossing the airport hall In jungle green

In control – the tallest A  ranger hat slouched over his head Protecting a face already turned to stone

On the right flank – the one just grown His teak brown cheeks newly shaven Smooth as planed wood and as unmoved

Then two more – pushing a baggage cart Captives? Cargo?  Kin? I couldn’t say …

One was a woman with an idiot’s smile Gawking here and there at the newness of us all One leg dragging

Next to her a stick man almost bald With black eyes that stared and stared

He had a left hand that fluttered like a crow Up to scratch his scabby head it went Then down again to circle and re-circle the other wrist Where A manacle or cuff Might recently have been

And bringing up the rear – the half grown one Not tall enough and not yet seasoned His teeth gritting as if his soul depended on it

My overactive imagination? Perhaps…

What I know for sure

They were five In jungle green Off the plane Crossing the airport hall

A story I couldn’t understand


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