Jacob Lawrence, Soldiers and Students (1962)
She's not sure she knows her birthday.
Her passport says April 8, but that's the date her father got round to registering her
with the authorities.
She once asked him, after leaving home, for the correct date, in order to consult an astrologer.
On a tiny scrap of paper kept in "a special place," he'd recorded September 15 in
minute Chinese characters. But, she's not sure if that might refer to one of her six sisters
"You are not important. You will not go to college. Your brothers will go to college.
Our work is for their futures. You will become the responsibility of your
The patriarch, thin, balding, liver spots on scale-like skin, pasty from lack of sun.
In the back of his shop by artificial light he works gold with skill, while in the front
the women cater to customers.
After the students were shot down she fled, first to the jungle, later to America, where she
landed in your bed with great hope and loneliness.
Back to the Agoraphobia TOC.
© 2002-2013 Mark Phillips.
All rights reserved.
Published 1/04: Big Bridge.
This writing is fiction. Please don't confuse it with reality.