Observing Mother

Paul Tan Kim Liang

Catholic in her waking hours
she crosses her brow now
as she encircles the bolster:
tonight mother offers
a lunacy of Chinese gold
in her restless slumber
investing in the underworld

The motorbike revving to life
announces its presence downstairs
and is commandeered through
the pile of burnt remains
in an ashy storm I imagine
mother weeps in her dreams
such unanswered prayers.

Published in Curious Roads (1994)

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean Literature Paul Tan Kim Liang