death by paper cut

{November 7, 2011}   Marginalised by the Marginalised

Home is tracing the familiar lines

Of the silhouetted horizon against the setting sun,

Like the assuring wrinkles of kind smiles.


Home is greeting the coffee shop Uncle in my Mother’s tongue

Jiat pa buay? Chek puay. Ta bao, Kam siah!

As he, in a sleight of hand, concocts my teh as only he knows how.


Home is using my native language that I have been proudly schooled in

Vehemently wrangled in, dreamt in, romanced and fell irrevocably in love in,

And understood by, without being patronised Oh! You speak such good English!


Home is sharing my commute with those who are making

their way home in a place they call Home.


But now I have to be constantly reacquainted with the morphing skyline

And question myself in shameful forgetfulness, What used to be here?

And hang up my ancestral dialect in an act of betrayal for the Stepmother’s Mandarin tongue,

While reeling from the slap by my own Country Of Origin

When being told that I am not acknowledged as a native English speaker,

But merely an illegitimate child born out of the wedlock of Commercialism and Materialism.


Therefore, I am not Home.


Therefore, I envy you for

You can go back to where you came from

But tell me,

Where am I to go?


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