A Mound of Gold

Angeline Yap

Unobserved, happiness settles
over everything, like a gentle dust;
over the kneading of bread dough,
the peeling of carrots for stew,
over putting a saucer of milk down
for the cat, and running your hand
through the soft prickle
of your boy's crew cut hair;

-- you take it in, like the scent of soap
on your husband's fresh-shaved cheek;
like the dog's extravagantly wagging tail,
or the kitten's gravelly mew, and the lick
of his sand-paper tongue.

If you wished, you could try quantifying it;
gathering everything gently into a mound of gold,
using gratitude like a soft-hair brush,
then tipping it out of the tiny balance
and holding it (oh so carefully)
in the hollow of your palm.

First published in Fulcrum -- an annual of poetry and aesthetics (USA), No. 1, "A Map of English-language Poetry," 2002

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean Literature Angeline Yap

Last modified: 10 July 2003