Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HYBRIDS OF WAR: A MORALITY POEM: 2. CAMBODIA, by KAREN SWENSON



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HYBRIDS OF WAR: A MORALITY POEM: 2. CAMBODIA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Before the rats came
Last Line: For a face to match her mirrors'.
Subject(s): Abandonment; Cambodia; Children; Desertion; Childhood


Before the rats came,
following the wavering fishline
of her newborn cry,
they found her among pearly slime
of gutted mussel shells,
fish rot, jackfruit rind,
and scabbed plastic in the harbor dump.

Sixteen and solemn,
walled in her street stand's ink perfume
by the gloss of fashionable
faces, as well as Time and Fortune,
she waits behind the gray
rain-drape of the monsoon
for a face to match her mirrors'.





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