Poetry Interlude: Samsara

Merit in a small wicker basket,
The tiny bird awaits the next chapter
In its endless cycle of release and recapture

One riel, one kip, one dong buys the purchaser its freedom,
Expecting by this unreflective gesture to advance a step
In his own scaling of the ladder of destiny

But released by cruel fate from a pleasure boat on the Mekong,
The tiny being, weak and starving, cannot reach the shore
But alights instead on the unforgiving ribbons of the river
Where it is released at last from its own small cycle of suffering
Drowning in waves of ignorance and superstition

Note: This poem appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of The Whirlwind Review.

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