What we leave behind us


This pillared mansion that was

once home to the children of sultans,

its last remaining jewels cobwebs

that glitter in corners, whose only angels now

are dust motes that dance in filtered sunlight

through bare windows, I wonder if

it misses their laughter and querulous voices

more than we miss the trail of homes

scattered in our wake.


Then these railway tracks that meander

through vanilla housing board flats,

canals where scum is patterned

like lacquer, leaf- lit tunnels

across the sea to Malaysian soil,

does this long corridor still echo

with the dreams of those who love

long after the trains cease to run?

I believe you can hear them

in the twilit softness if you are silent

and a little lonely.


And I thought then of pianos

where disinterested children once tinkled

and who long now to sing,

of teddy bears and dolls

whose flat eyes and open arms

yearn for one moved on

to other loves, and all those unnamed

and discarded  things on trash heaps

we leave behind us.


I wondered if we could hear the silent sadness

of those who weep for us, would we

turn to them and love them?


Then I realized that we would not act differently

from what we do now.





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