Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Day in Her Shadowy Life: A Tanka Prose

for the New Pope

Earlier this morning, hundreds of thousands flooded St. Peter's Square, forming crescent-moon crowds around giant video screens. Basking in an emotional send-off at his final general audience, Pope Benedict XVI stressed, "Loving the church also means having the courage to take difficult and anguished choices, ..."

With an emotionless look on her face, Mary stared at the TV screen in her rented attic room. As a white cloud of doves ascends into the sky and circles the square, cries of “Viva il Papa!” burst from the crowds.

did you weep
when I was abused?

she asks
with trembling hands...
wooden Jesus on the wall

NeverEnding Story, March 17, 2012


1 “Viva il Papa!” means "Long live the Pope!"

2 According to the New Testament, Jesus cried three times, and "Jesus wept" is the shortest verse. It is found in John's narrative of the death of Lazarus, a follower of Jesus.