Portrait of a Woman in 1969

The crawling wrinkles, rings of a tree,
trace her decades of teaching.

Her eyes flare flames when Red Guards spit, throw mud,
pound at her. They snarl. Several, her students. Red
bands dazzle the young arms. Bright

sunlight, surreal, refuses to kneel.
Her bouffant hair becomes salt marsh weeds.

Dusk creeps in, the filthy pond
smells metallic where another
professor jumped & sank

after such taunting. Red
Guards lie under an old Ginkgo,
gasp, sweat, desperate.

Still standing, she sinks Qi into her
Dan Tian. Her inner energy nullifies

the striking force, channels the madness to
forgiving earth, tremor. The secret training

of Wu Shu casts her into a statue. Her
Lips clench, eyes squint, sneer, sneer.

Just Like That
Let Healing Come