Wah Lay Ray

A crystal blue tear rolls down her brown skin, leaving a trace of sadness far too mature for her tiny soul.

Wah Lay Ray steps across the Burmese border, runs headlong into her, scoops her up, up into blue skies and the tear flies away in a moment of sheer joy.

Soon he’s surrounded by other relatives with smiling faces, a happy reunion hiding the horror which lies beyond the border in the hearts of villages overrun by military power. Wild pig curry, dancing, and songs mask the truth of life in Burma, chase the children’s nightmares away, at least for the moment. Wah Lay Ray is here.

Fifty years of civil war ransacking villages cremating hope damaging infant toys making foreign the concept of holy, wholly set on fighting making fear a lifestyle, a frame of mind.

Wah Lay Ray escaped before it was too late, found life in Canada, spent time on his knees for his family forced to farm while the soldiers plucked the fruits of their labour.

Today they embrace the pain dealt by the un-chartered chills of men in power, men with steel toe boots and army green uniforms, men who have never known grace.

Then, Cyclone Nargis and its green eye of fury, destroying any sliver of hope which might have remained for these oppressed Burmese orphans.

Finally Wah Lay Ray leaves, waving goodbye, wondering how people with so little can be allowed to suffer so much.

Another crystal blue tear squeezes from her eye, rolls down her dirty skin, leaving one more trace of lost childhood.

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