A Mother's Wish in Sorrow

This poem is dedicated to my classmate Mr. Jen-Teh Yu and all martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the "February 28 Incident" 40 years ago.

Original in Taiwanese by Ker Chi-Fa in 1987,
English translation by Y. T. Lin in 1997

Oh, please, no firecracker,
the firecracker sound would drive me insane;
My son, oh, my beloved son,
on that day,
with your eyes blindfolded,
in a round of cracking gunfire,
your bounded body hit the ground,
and blood smeared the soil of our homeland.

This all because at the end of February,
when that cold front arrived;
you stood up to protest,
against their corruption,
to defy their lawlessness.
They thus took you away,
and thereafter you never returned.

My tears of sorrow flew endlessly,
I cried until my eyes were completely blind,
my chest was filled with rage,
day and night twisted was my broken heart.

They murdered you,
the brightest college student of our hometown,
they deprived me of all my hopes,
how could I continue to live?

Son, my beloved son,
the day to reunite with your Mom,
shouldn't be too far away;
in another world we shall meet,
let me hold you as tightly as I can.
While we cry together;
let me soothe your wound,
to ease your excruciating pain.

Rest in the arms of our homeland,
we will no longer be parted.
Forever live in the hearts of our people,
we shall never be lonely again.

The February 28 Holocaust