Beijing, June 4th 1989

Imagine a little girl
With rosy cheeks
And big brown eyes
Her soft black hair tied into a ponytail
Do you see her giggle?
Do you see
The sweet dimples on her face
When she smiles?

Imagine that little girl
Shy but poised
Dressed in a white dacron shirt
And a cherry cotton skirt
White nylon socks
And orange plastic sandals
Do you see
How she would politely sit you down
When you were at her house
Pour you tea
And then sing you
Her favorite song?

Imagine that little girl
In the middle of night
Standing on a busy street
Under dim lights
Amid soldiers rushing by
Hundreds trailing hundreds of them
Each one a grim reaper
In faded green
Riding on the rampant stench of gunfire
And the thick black smoke
Of dark green military trucks
Obscuring her busy eyes
In search of her mother
And her desperate calls

She would have turned seven tomorrow
It would have been a tragic birthday
Waking up to see
In the middle of the street
People screaming past
Cars engulfed in flames
And buses turned upside down
With its passengers inside still
Burnt to a crust

She would have seen bodies
Insides flowing out
Bodies mutilated
From head to toe
Giant green tanks
Grinding over them
And more bodies
Along the sidewalks
Lying cold and still

Yet on her birthday
She did not see them
Because a misfire later
On the heartrending cry of a child
She had become
One of them



Tai Meng | 孟泰 | Last Updated: May 12, 2019