Quarterly Literary Review Singapore
Issue illustration


Current Issue:
Vol. 2 No. 3 Apr 2003

Site Map


QLRS sections
Short Stories
Extra Media
The Acid Tongue
QLRS general

About Us
Contributors' Notes
Mailing List
Site Map


The Wall

One morning in March, the wall came down – the whole
lichenous length of it, twenty feet or so. It fell on its own
with an echoless thunder, pulverizing the neighborhood’s
early-morning stupor.

People rushed to look, and were stupefied by the spectacle
of bricks lying in martial disorder - their maimed platoon
punctuated the traffic of men bound for the bazaar and mothers
taking their children to school.

They talked about how it had been a miracle that no one
was hurt; how the wall had chosen to fall just when there
was not a soul, not even a dog or a cat, on the lane along
its length. It was a mystery,

a little like the disappearance of the man who had built
the wall to protect his small plot of land with its vegetable
patch – one sudden morning, years ago, his neighbors had
learned that he was missing. Just like that.

He had left no clue; no perceivable reason explained
his abrupt truancy. No one ever saw him again. For some
time, his wife believed that he would return. His daughter,
on the other hand, never spoke of him.

The tar-coated tin of the garden gate became used to light’s
fixed angularities. The diurnal surprise of the sun’s awkward
fingers caressing its swing left its memory for ever. An ambush
of weeds erased the vegetable patch.

Then it was left to the cats, sitting face to face on the wall,
to spell spring. The years passed in halting sequences of night
and rain, abuse and oblivion. And the wall, tired of snarling
the same graffito, stood, obedient to an absence, as long

as it could.

By Eugene Datta

QLRS Vol. 2 No. 3 Apr 2003


About Eugene Datta
Mail the editors

Return to Vol. 2 No. 3 Apr 2003

  Other Poems in this Issue

By Eugene Datta.

Beethoven, Opus 92
By Zhang Ruihe.

By Ng Shing Yi.

The News
By Joanne Leow.

Second Day of Mourning
By Gaston Ng.

You make it easy to leave you
By Wendy Gan.

By Grace Chua.

Memento Mori X
By Yeow Kai Chai.


Return to QLRS home

Copyright © 2003 The Authors
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | E-mail