FEAR – 李异

li_yi

Li Yi
FEAR

In 1950
on the eve of the liberation of Hainan Island
grandpa was still in Wenchang
as a fisherman.
One time
he was out on the sea,
three days and two nights,
without any catch;
hanging his head, going back.
Suddenly
he hauled up
a sea creature just like a human.
Black everywhere all over the body,
darker than Africans,
eyes full of tears.
Grandpa
loosened the net,
let him go.
Coming home,
he told the village what happened;
everyone thought it was a bad omen.
On the same day they beat drums and gongs,
called a meeting,
banishing
grandpa.
He went back to Qiongshan, working the soil.
When I was small,
he told me this story;
he said on this world,
there were not only mer-cows and sea hogs,
there were also mer-people;
everything that lived on the land,
the sea had it all.
In 1966
grandpa was dragged up on the stage;
head smashed, a dozen shovels;
sank into the mud,
could never be found.
15 years ago
I was on the boat
leaving the island.
Stood at the railing,
stared into endless surge all around;
thinking of grandpa,
there was this idea
spinning round in my head.
Under the sea,
do they have also
a tribe of people,
living in fear?

Tr. MW, September 2016

li_yi_meereswesen

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