season in grey and white
for Lim Peng Thong
when we filed in twos through a waiting room
at tan tock seng we weren't quite ready
for the sight of plastic fruit dwelling on
endless walls, stifling the space whilst
coming to life. death is no lousy week
to sleep away under the latent shade
of sunday afternoons, nor thundered
crowded skies that cry out in rain
and blur when the sun emerges.
death is a season in grey and white,
a last conversation we are forced to
live with daily. death is a duty
we carry out in reluctant obeisance.
and all I ever called you was
you drew my eyes tight and inanimate
you made me pray for a miracle
over and over, a miracle.
silent crying emerges like muffled
knocking on sealed chasms of memory.
they said their last prayers and offered
their last choruses: unflinching farewells
that beget a sort of tranquil gratitude,
and trod slowly out into the dark
of a newborn experience, weeping as they met the light.
By Ken Lee
QLRS Vol. 3 No. 2 Jan 2004