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Wednesday, December 22, 2021


by Marilyn Mathis
in memory of Wong Ching Ping

HONG KONG — Under the cover of darkness early Thursday, authorities in Hong Kong tore down a public sculpture dedicated to the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre, accelerating a campaign to erase the crackdown from public recollection and stamp out dissent in a city that until recently was one of Asia’s freest. The 26-foot-tall artwork, known as the “Pillar of Shame,” had stood at the University of Hong Kong for nearly a quarter-century and honored the hundreds, if not thousands, of students and others killed on June 4, 1989, when the Chinese military crushed pro-democracy protests. —The Washington Post, December 23, 2021

You send the kite skyward,
If it will fly or fall.
You speak
In Hong Kong
Unknowing if you will last the day.
But the kite,
Saying only a single word,
Is still an opinion,
A dangerous breath.
See, already winter branches have stopped it.
Fluttering desperately.
Silk and paper? Or a living bird?
It is of no matter.
The State will remove it.
Marilyn Mathis’ poem “On Turning Seventy” was published in 2021 by Sylvia Literary Magazine, U.K. She is the winner of the 2020 Ageless Authors Poetry Prize, third place, for “White Bird” which remained unpublished until now. She received international awards in writing, magazines and promotional projects throughout her career in corporate communications. Marilyn has edited a nonfiction book, Thriving Beyond Survival by Martha Germann. She has authored local and national magazine and newspaper features. She is currently at work on a mystery novel, several short stories and more poetry.