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Siem Reap, August 2020

August 14, 2020

walking in the old town
that I first knew
wishing that I could afford all the
massages and tuk tuk rides I am being offered
though they need the money more than I:
they ain’t selling too many elephant pants these days

the less the throng
the more the space,
and once the sprawl had stretched
the bounds of containment
but now there’s too much of nothing

shutters/house for rent/gone

I wander behind my nose
guided by disjointed memory:
13 years now of
when was I at this place,
with which beer
or which coffee
or which margarita afternoon
and with who?
my past Siem Reap tour companions,
I wish you well
so far down the line

the surface is like a lined,
lived-in face;
outward signs of
an inward struggle

folk still mill around the food vendors
sprinkle through the mobile coffee stalls
but deep in the market it’s cold and still

Cambodia, it appears,
continues to take its beatings
with a shrug and a shy smile,
consoled by family
ritual
karaoke
beer
and endless snacking
for those with a couple of thousand riel in hand

but surely I project –
I really know so little of how it all works,
with my dozen phrases and
ability to count as far as 20
as I continue to hope to find
the half of one percents
that might contribute
day by day
to my chosen Cambodian families

so it’s another day of staring into the future
with hopeful heart despite,
remembering that one day
this day will be
one of the memories
that I will recall

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dr. Howl permalink
    September 1, 2020 6:44 am

    Nice 🙂

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