Long ago in a paper house,
With a paper trishaw parked out front,
Lived a tiny woman, the colour of orchids
With a back like a camel.
She cooked very well,
But still when the hawker passed by below
She would drop down her basket and buy some more.
Not for her son or her daughter, for
She had none, but for the young man
Who came from the war, coughing
The colour of henna upon his hands.
The clock ticked away, above his bed,
Night and day, the hours bled away.
She shook her head at that.
For his sake, because he was brave,
She made her slow way
To the temple, each day, to light
Her strand of smoke.