The following is a poem entitled Small Questions. It was posted anonymously at Tiananmen Square. There was a note from the person who had written it: “From a dialogue between a 4-year old girl and her daughter”
Child: Mama Mama these young aunties and uncles,
why aren’t they eating anything?
Mother: They wish to receive a beautiful gift.
Child: What gift?
Child: Who will give them this beautiful gift?
Mother: They themselves.
Child: Mama Mama in the Square,
why are there so many people?
Mother: It is a holiday.
Child: What holiday?
Mother: The holiday of lighting of the torch.
Child: Where is the torch?
Mother: Inside the hearts of us all.
Child: Mama Mama Who is riding in the ambulance?
Mother: A hero.
Child: Why is the hero lying down?
Mother: To best let the child behind him see.
Child: Am I that child?
Child: To see what?
Mother: The flower with petals every color
of the rainbow.
Translated by Mike O’Connor.
This poem appears in the book, “The Politics of My Heart” by William Slaughter.