Found Poem: Choeung EkBased on film documentary English translation of Cambodian testimony of
Bou Thon (a family victim)at the trial of Duch, and then the response
of Duch [the Khmer Rouge director of Pol Pot's secret prison S-21]
A mother returns to the Killing Fields
Why do I continue farming,
when my husband and children
have already died?
Every year I return to the Killing Fields
to pray for their dead souls.
I was taken there
when the mass graves were exhumed,
corpses were lifted in the air,
I was told that the dead bodies
were the remains of my loved ones.
I recall seeing the blond hair,
the blond hair of my children,
I grabbed at their hair
and was shocked.
Phoan, Srey Phoas, dite Mao, Srey Toch -
may you rest in peace my children.
Mother prays for you
in the hope that your souls
will rejoin the spirit of your father.
Don't look back,
don't look at me,
Mother has nothing else to tell you
my loved ones.
Mother doesn't know what to do.
I live with sadness and tears.
What can I hope for
when you are dead?
Mother can only look for your skulls.
And the response to the mother, by Duch, one of the executioners
of the Killing Fields, during his trial...
Each year when this witness
returns to the Killing Fields,
it is appropriate
because I believe
that her husband and children
were killed there,
so their souls are still there.
For one million Cambodians
who lost their husbands
and wives during the Regime,
I understand their regret,
sorrow and suffering,
and the tears that
are now flowing from my eyes
are the tears of innocence
for the suffering of those people.