The crepuscular light of twilight,
The cricket, eager to begin his song,
The lone figure, standing erect,
Gazing at the peeling paint,
The vulgar graffiti
Adorning the forlorn bus stop,
The worn leather carpetbag,
Holding few worldly goods
But countless precious memories.
Glaring headlights, momentarily blinding,
An old Ford rumbles grumpily past,
Its occupant barely noting the existence
Of a strange, pale sylph
With wild black hair and grey eyes,
Wide crooked smile upon a voluptuous mouth,
Tiny feet swallowed up in threadbare Bata sandals,
Unextraordinary, yet unusual,
Unattractive, yet striking,
Forlorn, yet not alone in the world,
A mass of swirling contradictions
This mysterious woman
Whose destination was the lonely kampung bus stop.
A familiar visage springs to mind
A well-loved, boyish face,
Wire-frame glasses slipping upon a fine nose
Lips, soft and knowing,
Seated at a candlelit desk
With furrowed brow,
Contemplating the mysteries of the universe.
"Soon we shall meet once more,"
She sighs, once again regretting a foolish word
Uttered interminable aeons ago.
No! Not the face of her beloved
But rather a sullen-faced old woman
"Is he here?" she asks
Horror borne in her breast
As the woman leads her
To a grave surrounded by the blooms
of her glorious youth.
An ending, to such a hopeful beginning,
A the bus doors open again,
With a throaty cough
And the woman
Returns from whence she came
Devoid of emotion, drained
Cradling to her heart
The loss of true love
Because of a word spoken in anger
So very long ago.