Our torchlight cast in neon
the guarded tombstones of those illustrious ones
who live on in schools they built, foundations
established, descendants flowing like water,
yet this crystalline light chases
to the boundaries the shy darkness,
the soft mystery of weeping lilac sky
of shadows, layer upon layer
of brooding angsana and laced
rain tree leaves, blacker than black.
They abide in the shadow, the nameless ones
those bayoneted and tossed in these least obvious places,
Hinted in secret whispers woven through the years.
And yet, only because you existed
and stepped upon this fertile soil
your breath sent ripples though this air we breathe.
In this night wetter than tears
and heavy as unresolved grievances
I want to hear your story.
So I must learn to sing,
in the dark, after rain,
like the frogs.
And like owls, whose hoots
I listen for tonight, in vain,
to see in the dark.
written by Moira Ong