The sounds of a spluttering exhausts pipe,

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,

Moth-eaten, familiar,

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 

Without words, 

Without joy, 

Without love, 

Without hope, 

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.