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Zhōng Yuán Jié

By L Kiew

Returning I see the rubber
trees have receded
like the hairs from my pale scalp
the red pit of the mining pool’s
a fancy water resort

I gawk at the glass towers,
a visitor in the country
I still call home
the train’s so fast-lah,
wah, one every ten minutes

Umbrella raised against the sun
I trudge up Jalan Bukit
sangat panas-lah, betul
to our rusty gate, bolted
and hanging from its hinges –

I am not a tourist after all.
I am a revenant, recognising
only the Catholic graveyard,
the chrysanthemums dried
to brown on the hillside.

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