The child stood alone.

He stared at the old
man sitting at a small table
in the temple, that is the atrium
of the Promenada Mall,
sipping coffee.

He explored the old man:
white hat, white shirt, white
pants, white sandals, white beard, white●●●
white skin●●●a ghost!

He looked down at his arm, filled with goose bumps,
his skin dark, like everyone in his village:
Fear could not chase away the boy’s fascination.

The old man smiled at the child, then startled
him with his grandfather laughter. The boy
put his palms together before his chest
and looked up, into the old man’s clear blue eyes:
the old man waved and intoned “Hello, there!”

A young Thai woman appeared and stood
beside the child. She greeted the old man
with the same gesture as had the child. The old
man bowed his head and smiled.

The woman spoke in Thai to the child.
The old man understood only one word:
farang, foreigner.

 

George Ross

George Ross

George Ross is an active member of the Chiang Mai Poetry Writers Group and has been a featured reader at the Magic Theatre Poetry Reading. A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica, a retired ESL teacher, and now residing in Thailand, George explores various aspects of intercultural relations in his poetry.

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