do what I couldn't, daddy says, words i wait
    fifteen years to hear already, finally scribbled
    in a corner of a birthday card they send
    all the way to England, the year i graduate.

    mummy says, take care son, must eat, will pray
    for you. i long time never go church already
    but she still says, i will pray for you. i can
    see her smile rising from the ink.

    in school, teachers always say, study hard and
    do well in exam so next time can be rich and fat
    or else must sweep floor. but at home i also must
    help sweep floor even though i did well what.

    but i know what they mean. do wrong thing
    policeman will catch. say bad thing lightning
    will strike. for my own good i must listen
    to my elders and not answer back even

    if i think i am right. rude boys get tongue
    cut out in hell. sit quiet read book is best.
    last time i used to draw pictures of people
    fighting and exploding until the paper all black

    with pencil lead. the guys with pretty machines
    always win one, otherwise draw so nice then explode
    very wasted. those going to die one anyhow draw
    can already. dont even need to colour or give name.

    when i was born ah kong nearly died because he
    was practising qi gong, cannot be disturbed halfway.
    he hear the news already so excited nearly kena
    internal injury and vomit blood. lucky he

    know how to control his breathing in time. he
    gave me a name which i later then find out means
    enlightenment. (good name for poet right?) but i
    think, teochew lorry driver how come know

    such a big word?? (maybe because he last time study
    hard. at least dont have to sweep floor). ah kong
    last time always very good at making useful things,
    like desk and shelf and cupboard, so mebbe he also
    know how to make useful names. mebbe he is just

    wise or mebbe old. one time after he passed away
    i dream he come to me and smile and say khee meng,
    always remember your name; always remember
    not who you are but what you need.

28 September 2002   22:54 hours
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