Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Kindergarten Snapshot

Tumblers of Ribena, with tooth-marked caps.
Lined up by the window, where sun-drugged
Haywire ants navigated marshes of syrup,
The abacus was a grid of necklaces,
The globe the offspring
Of roulette-wheel and beach ball.
That Malay boy who bought tea to school
Was considered strange. So were those

Who came with squares on their sleeves –
Some black, some blue, for Ah Gong
And Ah Ma. And other bewildering relatives
Who bequeathed to them the badge
To the night school of mourning.

But no grief on their faces.
Not a trace, during afternoons
Of two-by-two, the teapot song.
And being called monkeys in the
Playground. We out-chorused one another
Through whistle-gap teeth. National Day:
Pom-pom hands and hula-hoop hips.

Other days: fractured crayons, a pencil
Sharpened on both ends, like a hex.
The girl who stared at the shut windows
Wishing for X-ray vision or a clock
With no hands. A puddle of shame-shame.

Sleeping time. Lay your head
On your arms. The wood of the table
Humming like underwater. If you opened
Your eyes you could see who else
Was disobedient. You could also drift
To the secret tapping of a friend,
Senseless Morse, galloping fingernails
Like firecrackers from a far-off holiday.

By Alfian Bin Sa’at
(Taken from A History of Amnesia
Published by Ethos Books)

Afterthought

The reason why I took so long to update my afterthought was because I couldn’t find my Kindergarten’s days photos. I’ve no idea where I've kept them. If I am not mistaken they should be somewhere in my new house but I’ve search high and low but still no sign of them. Arghhhhh!!!!

This is so frustrating!

9 comments:

blue_blue_bedsheet said...

This is what you'll see if you peeked into my everyday. Magical isn't it?

Bluesky_Liz said...

This is one of my favorites from that collection.

"Who came with squares on their sleeves –
Some black, some blue, for Ah Gong
And Ah Ma. And other bewildering relatives
Who bequeathed to them the badge
To the night school of mourning."

:) too young to understand perhaps or dwell on it.

Alson Teo said...

So bbb, do you enjoy your work? :)

Alson Teo said...

Those were the days. Sigh ...

blue_blue_bedsheet said...

Love my work very much. I'm a big kid myself!:P

Alson Teo said...

Good for you! :)

blue_blue_bedsheet said...

You can actually "peek"into my everyday......I work near where you live!;>

alson said...

Oh I see, PAP Kindergarten right? :)

blue_blue_bedsheet said...

Eh...no...I work in a private childcare centre at Jelapang Road, which is still very near... isn't it??