Jasper Wu, a 23 month old sleeping child, was killed on November 6, 2021 when a stray bullet smashed through the windshield of his mother’s car as they were driving home from San Francisco to Fremont, CA on Highway 880 in Oakland, CA.  Poet Genny Lim offers this poem at this moment of great sorrow as the outcry against gun violence rings sadly once more in our communities.

Posted on November 12 2021 by Genny Lim.

Prayer for Jasper

In memory of Jasper Wu

Fog embalms I-880 

In burial gauze that

Shrouds your dimpled cheeks

Frozen out of time 

But you are still alive

Dreaming you are Superman

With your proud muscles

Invincible to the tricks of

Scary monsters

If you return now

Your mother can stop 

Burning incense, paper money and

Ghost palaces for your afterlife

And your smile will rise from

The ashes of your picture

In time for your second birthday

You will awaken in time for

Another spring with plum blossoms

Billowing over sidewalks as you push

Through the hourglass of childhood

To forgive the world its darkness

 

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Family members burning incense and paper money to usher Jasper’s spirit into the afterlife. Screen grab from ABC 7 news.

Author’s Bio:

Genny Lim  is author of the seminal play, Paper Angels, about Chinese immigrants on Angel Island and five poetry collections, Winter Place, Child of War, Paper Gods and Rebels, KRA!, La Morte Del Tempo, co-author of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, winner of the American Book Award and the anthology of Senior Asian American memoirs, Window: Glimpses of Our Storied Past. Her activist voice finds expression in diverse performance poetry and music collaborations, such as  Don’t Shoot! Requiem in Black, dedicated to Black Lives Matter, which premiered at SF Jazz Center in 2018 with Francis Wong, and rapper, Equipto.

 

3 Comments

  1. Susan Hayase on November 13, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Beautiful, loving prayer for a sweet little boy.

  2. Casimiro Urbano Tolentino on November 15, 2021 at 11:03 am

    Very moving about the fragility of life, especially for the young

  3. Carole Chinn-Morales on November 15, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    It shouldnt have been this way…we grieve. Your words so deeply felt…thank you.

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