A Sad Story

Today I was told the Sad Story of recent Cambodian history. I visited Tuol Sleng, the prison in Phnom Penh where an estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned, tortured, taken to what became known as The Killing Fields, and then killed. Only 6 people were known to survive. None escaped.

We then went to The Killing Fields, where the 17,000 people were killed and buried in mass graves.

It is impossible to describe in prose a day like today. So I will not try. But I will share a poem I wrote. Perhaps that is all we can do in the face of our shared history. Share our humanity.

Shaky world
Shaky feet carrying us through
Memories
Cracked bone
Crumpled sheets
A breath between
Life
And the next.

Breath
Of shifting wind
Touching our cheek
Between the cracks
Between the frangipani leaves
Breathing in
The scent of hope.

2 thoughts on “A Sad Story

  1. It is just amazing isn’t it Nim. The charity work we do there with the teachers is humbling to say the least, yet Cambodian people are some of the most gorgeous I’ve ever met. Always a smile on their face.

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