When you were eight, you didn’t know
now you don’t let yourself
Napalm raining on bamboo roofs,
death knocking at rice doors,
or bright orange teardrops
making their love to the jungle.
An American soldier, heading home,
abandons your sister
and her unborn child,
your mother heals your father,
his brain beaten, broken by war.
While you slept in a dinghy
fighting against the Pacific,
battling your own red tides.
Years passed, you reached Jersey’s shores,
littered with kool-aid and condoms,
Your hands bled in warehouse night shifts
and your all-American tongue,
silenced stories of a family left in Saigon.
Then you had me,
the bombs and death stayed overseas,
When the nurses wrapped me in pink
and adorned daisied socks to my feet,
did you once again see
Jasmine blooming along the nighttime
shore, your mom’s delicate hands
placing petals behind your ear,
and the pollen tickling your tired eyes.
Morgan Santaguida grew up in a small Pennsylvania town. She has previously been published in Stylus, Whimsical Poetry, and Cathartic Literary Magazine. She is now living in Massachusetts as a young writer, studying at Boston College.