Sunday, November 6, 2011

The color of vengeance


She wore red
and stood that the water's edge;
her son held her hand,
his young face unsure:
mother's face and tone of voice
had been strangely threatening.
She had made him wear

that morning when
he wanted to wear green,
his favorite color;
red was for girls.

“Don't you want to be in
the same color as mummy?”

Red --
her dress, mother looked
like some kind of fairy
though boys do not care
for fairies but she did
look beautiful.

Their toes touched the water's edge.
He pulled her back a little, she
smiled, her eyes glistening but
still determined,
“come with mummy. Don't you

want to be with mummy?”
she whispered into his ear,
he looked out to the water,
the grey and black waves
lapping. She picked him up
and he held her tightly,
breathed in her perfume, her
breath, comforted, he nodded.


crossed her eyes. He knew it --
he had said something wrong;
mummy is about to tell him to stop it,
just like the time he thought
it would be cute to pull her arm
when she was on the phone,
just like the time he thought
it would be funny if he hid
behind a counter at the supermarket.

“Daddy will be right along.”

her eyes.
he did the only thing he knew how

“I love you mummy.”

she sighed and smiled an upside
down frown, but at least she was
not angry anymore, perhaps still
a little sad. She held him closer
and they entered the water together.

Poem is based on a true event: I don't have the details, this is only just how I envisioned the emotions. A young mother and her son were found drowned at a reservoir, they were both found to be wearing red. (News article link) It was found that the woman was fighting for custody of her son in an ugly divorce and had been in terrible depression. The chinese people generally believe that wearing red and committing suicide enables the person to return as an avenging ghost. Since their deaths, there had been several more cases of drowning suicide at this location.

To the spirits, I'm sorry for that you felt there was no way out and that it had been so hard that you decided to take this path. Please know that your story has been heard by many, and rest in peace.


dVerse Poetics - Play with Color hosted by Victoria prompted this write, although I don't think it was intended writers come up with something as morbid as this. Please do check out the awesome poets and their works.


Brian Miller said...

god...i saw what was coming and could not look away...goodness...this hit me well told...whew...

Anonymous said...

An affecting and terribly tragic write tonight Ravenblack. I never understand why people do these awful things. I appreciate you giving these people a voice and calling their spirits to rest.

hedgewitch said...

So sad, and haunting, and I've seen that kind of divorce all too close. People get caught up in these horrible, destructive cycles of violent emotion--the saddest for me is that it all begins with two people falling in love. A very expressive write, Raven.

Laurie Kolp said...

Gripping and so so very sad... a beautiful piece.

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely sad piece. I too seemed to see it coming, but then you get ambiguous at the end. Really well told.

Sheila said...

omg, how horrible and yet, like brian, I knew what was coming but could not look away. I will tell you what gave me chills that have yet to subside is your message to the spirits at the end. very powerful and moving. a write that will certainly serve a purpose - even if it is one we may never know of.

dsnake1 said...

to us Chinese red is supposed to be an auspicious colour, but not when you wear it to die. this case made gripping headlines because a young boy was lost too. what do he know of his parents' problems? it's sad, very sad, but depression can push a person over the edge.

it takes courage to write about such things, and i think that you have painted the roller-coaster emotions of the victims very well. i hope the spirits will rest in peace..

Ravenblack said...

Thanks for reading and the thoughtful comments, everyone.

It is a very sad case.

There ought to be a watch station set up at that location because there's been a few. It's unsettling.

Anonymous said...

such a sad thing. isn't it great to have all these cultures with so many wonderful little believes we are supposed to respect?

Claudia said...

oh my well told...i had a creepy feeling from the very beginning..

Templeton's fury said...


Ravenblack said...

Zongrik, Claudia, Templeton, thanks for reading. Really appreciate your visits.

S and J said...

I so wanted this to end differently but knew it couldn't. The mood and despair is caught perfectly...

Ravenblack said...

Thanks for reading, Sally.

I'm glad I told it properly that it is understood.

Dave King said...

Very very compelling from first to last.

Unknown said...

Excellent write. I had heard that bit about wearing red relating to future vengeance, but never saw it illustrated as you did here. Never heard this story until know, truly tragic. You really weaved this well. Thanks

Scarlet said...

Chills... from the first word to the end. Yes, I have read about the article. Sad that has to end this way. Thanks for sharing this ~

Ravenblack said...

Dave, Fred and Heaven, thanks for reading and the feedback.

Daydreamertoo said...

Awww so sad... to think that suicide was the only way to go for the mother and her child. This piece is so image filled and all the more sad for it's reality.

Ravenblack said...

Appreciate your visit and comments, Daydreamer.

Jingle Poetry At Olive Garden said...

pray for better choice or ending.

Margaret said...

This really was an emotional piece for me... I had a feeling it was based on true life. I read it as my four year old son was sitting in my lap...

he did the only thing he knew how

“I love you mummy.”

Excellent, awesome, sad, unforgettable poetry!

Victoria said...

Raven, this is so intense. Right away, the color signaled danger to me and the way you imagined the feeling content of this tragic event was so well played out. What a sad, sad story. Thank you for sharing this one.

Beachanny said...

Your poem inhabited their bodies. So effective written from a child's pov. The red becomes silky and haunting, a sash, a quick calligraph, a slit throat, a sea serpent, blood floating on water. Well written.

Ravenblack said...

Margaret, Victoria and Gay, thanks for your thoughtful comments on this.

Unknown said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on Wishing.

This poem tugged at my heartstrings. I'm a new mom of a nine month old, I couldn't imagine this ever. This story just makes me so sad. I hope their souls find their way home and rest. :(

Ravenblack said...

Thank for you for the return visit, Erica. Appreciated you leaving your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Ravenblack, this was extremely touching ... and very well done.

Ravenblack said...

Thanks, Old Raven. *smiles*