The Blood of my Family

Harsh, jagged lines mark calloused fingers,

Like cement split from an earthquake,

The skin of their hands is cracked open.

Fresh blood spills thickly out of open wounds,

Soaking soft brown dirt with the dark red

Of sacrifice.

It is my grandfather’s blood that was spilled,

When the news broadcasted

Crimes of hate and anger.

An 83-year-old man,

Hair turned silvery-white by age,

Was left cradling broken bones,

A grocery bag still in his hand.

Instead of a stranger in the news,

I see my grandfather,

Joints fragile with age,

Hands stiff with time.

His lips are damp as he peppers

My forehead with light kisses.

I am scared for him.

It is my grandmother’s blood that was spilled,

When the news broadcasted

Crimes of hate and anger.

Blue and purple stains the cheek

Of a 75-year-old woman,

Who has lived life, been worn down

by the passage of time,

But strength remains in the curve of her spine.

Instead of a stranger in the news,

I see my grandmother.

Eyes dull with age,

Ears quiet with time.

Her hands are dry and papery

As she gently pinches my cheeks.

I am scared for her.

The blood of these strangers

Is the blood of my family.

– Feileen Li

Cover Photo Source: https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218818.shtml