Poetry Recording Work

No Luck In This Equation

Hung Liu. Strange Fruit: Comfort Women, 2001, oil on canvas, 80 x 160. Private collection. http://www.hungliu.com/comfort-women.html

Seven women, strange fruit, stare at you

Their eyes awash with tears dripping, cast downward

onto yellow straw hats, their fingers at rest

but for one, stern without malice, pulls you into paint,

a butterfly with purple and white wings

of unheard voices as comfort women unsurreal,

their lives forsaken in droughts, the moisture

of art in world war against women

who had no say for their humanity

or luck in the numbers 777

for fortune, wealth, prosperity

My sisters who had no say rise and speak

our black hair, our fingers afire,

their bodies in white dresses,

our bodies still to be our own.

Nellie Wong

© 2023 Nellie Wong

(Inspired by a painting titled “Strange Fruit (Comfort Women), 2001” by Hung Liu

©2023 Nellie Wong

This poem is included in Moonstone Arts Center’s anthology of EKPHRASTIC POETRY 2023. Ekphrastic poetry explores art. Using a rhetorical device known as ekphrasis, the poet engages with a painting, drawing, sculpture, or other form of visual art. Poetry about music and dance might also be considered a type of ekphrastic writing.