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”

Small Questions

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?
Mother: Freedom.

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?
Mother: Yes.

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.

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