Trying to Make Nice – 1949

Tereasa Maillie is a writer and researcher living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She holds an MA in history, focusing on women and medicine in China. She has published mostly non-fiction and is now spreading her wings into science fiction, alternative history and poetry.

Am I here just to eat, shit and sleep?
Of this trio of bodily functions
Mao waited for Stalin.
Frozen fish, thrown back at them.
Pedestal toilets, unbearably hard.
Sleepless night, soft Russian mattress.

Two days later, a visit.
Mao saw the Master.
Stalin would give no help.
One no to help build Chinese arsenals.
Stalin even forgot Mao’s birthday.

Stalin rang Mao a few times,
Calls were brief, neither here nor there.
Mao refused to go sightseeing,
He was there to work.

It’s hard for dictators to even make friends.

SOURCE: “The Unknown Story – Mao,” Jung Change and John Halliday. New York: Anchor Books, 2006: 346-347.


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