GloPoWriMo: Day 9

bamgame[image credit: @_52mm]

At the military lottery, the world falls in love with Game
(for #bamgame)

“Don’t be scared of the boy in black,”
says the military recruiter,
gesturing to the row
of empty plastic chairs
flanking the pop idol.

We’re all following
on Twitter,
millions of us,
for a red card
means two years
in the army.

No world tour.
No new recordings.
And what of
the laugh, the dab, the crazy dance
alongside the waterfront
in the mad hatter’s hat
with the song of a
drunkard or a madman
or a poet who swallowed
the whole of life and
got it caught in his

But a black card
means he’s free.
has become our anthem.

“On this day,”
says our idol,
“I no longer have fear
since this is my duty
as a Thai man.”

But we are scared
for our idol
for the band
for ourselves.

A young man
in a white shirt,
as lean,
as graceful,
as boyish
as our star
slides into the empty chair
next to him,
smile for smile.

Across timezones,
we wait.
Schoolgirls hide
with their cellphones
beneath the covers,
following the twitter
trail, though they
know the draw
won’t come
until shortly
before their
mothers open
the door
to announce
that the oatmeal
is ready.
It’s time for school.

And while we wait
the man in the white shirt
whispers a joke.
Our idol laughs.
The man in the white shirt
fetches sodas.
They take selfies.
They become a thing.
They become friends.

“It’s me,” tweets a fan.
“The man in the white
shirt is me.”
And we know that, yes,
he is all of us.
For he does what we
long to do,
laugh with our idol
help him relax
bring him Coke
in a plastic glass
with extra ice
and a straw
ease the long hours

before the draw.

At the last minute
with the sun rising
across the globe
the roster is filled
we scream

Thank you!

and we pray
in gratitude
to protect
the volunteers
who stepped into
the empty slots so that
our star would not
have to draw, after all.
May you live well.

And what of Game?
for that is the name of the
man in the white shirt
who stood
for all of us.

Medical exemption.
We exhale.

Our two boys
are safe.
We remember,
all the others.
May you be protected.
May you know peace.

We have a new ship,
which means,
for us,
that which brings
the great and the small:

Daily Prompt: “Write a poem in which something big and something small come together,” from the Na/GloPoWriMo site.

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