Yiling Ding

Rookie (1990)

Clean Lands - Poem by Yiling Ding

Like a nightmare that knows no awakening
The burden follows me, and clings to my back
Its weight threatens to topple me, heavier every day
Muddy tendrils are gripping me, pulling me to the ground

I cannot lie to rest in this sullied land
This is not the place to rest or lie, for as much as
I yearn to return to serene sleep, I cannot
Be consumed by this maddened earth

Oh, bring me back to where my dreams should lay
Before I cursed this land with all my memories
The bad mistakes of life remain, etched
In my every pore and every breath

I am still seeking a cleaner soil
The sanctuary to purify
Yet lame and wasted, this burden grows too big
I can carry my own mistakes no longer

Each step I make defiles the land, damnation
How I long to toss my memories free, release
Myself from all my guilt and self-admonishment
And then run, freely, to the clean temple of purification
That I would no longer need.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012

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