I didn’t like the walk.
Down three steps past yellow bricked walls.
around the corner
and some more
a barking dog
or a skinhead having a fag.
“F@*$% off you chink”
so I did
with a hop and a skip and a jump.
Made my orange juice spill though and my sandwiches lose their cheese.
A little faster
past blackberry bushes, stepping on nettles, bleeding knees staining my shoes
I’m late. Bell’s rung already.
They should do something with this place.
Build another tower,
more concrete walls with flat tops,
more cells for pensioners and foreigners who can’t speak English,
dark corners for a quick one
bottom steps to crash out on
cold slabs to nurse a kick in the groin.
that or a football field.
She opened the door and expected hope
With welcoming hands and a cup of camomile tea.
Only silence pushed against a brick wall.
So she played a ukulele with no strings
And watched knots unravel
To become tassels held by the wind
And clouds circling in twisted cords
As her hands grabbed teaspoons of time.
To stroke red cloth on my knee
And sway my head from side to side.
Like Tai Chi
The master of air
Took a ball and made it smaller
In an open field
Darkened by the mountains
An eagle or two overhead
Fanning their wings in approval
At the way he curves his lips
Lowers his eyelids
And makes light the wind.
He calls me with his horn
And I wait,
With piles of newspapers
Torn and coffee stained.
Smudged lines of tragedy
Once read with sympathy
Buried in vaults without doors.
My hand waves and then retreats.
And he does.
His mouth curves greeting his ears
But his black marble eyes
Hold a different conversation.
He brings out his scale, rusting under the weight of yesterday
As pink raffia scratches to wrap my load
“One dollar thirty sister”
“In ten cents, can?”
A closing zip
And the shuffle of slippers
He is gone.
As the gate locks
Again I hear
The distant sound
Of his tooting horn.
A well to be filled
Of crystal cut glasses and stainless steel knives
A washing machine turning
A cooker hob burning
Ceramic pots of boiling soup
Mud-stained rugby shorts in the soak
Painting school shoes white
Stroke by stroke
Waiting in the car
For another lesson to be over
Thick toffee stirring a wooden spoon
One more song to play
It’s the same everyday
Buried in hardened earth
In letters wrapped in pandan leaves.
In a parched field
I stretch open my arms
A torso on bow legs
Resting on broad feet.BW
Born in London and based in Singapore for the last twenty-one years, Suet Tan, a chartered accountant, began writing plays after a playwriting workshop in 2001.
Since then she has written nine plays including Sperm, performed by Magdalena (Singapore) at the OCBC Singapore Theatre Festival, and Shopping with Ang performed by Yellow Earth Theatre (YET) in London. She hopes to stage her newest play A Second Life in both London and Singapore in 2014.
A rehearsed reading of A Second Life will be staged in the UK on Sat 14 Dec 2013. It is also a networking event for creative people.
Book now as will be a popular event!