Little Women

little women of my childhood gravel lane,
fill out a part of my memory of
linked-wooden houses built on stilts.
their crowning glories still so vivid;
how they flipped like a pendulum from
shoulder to shoulder as they ran;
those different-styled hair
each carving a story and character in
my own little women world;
straight, graceful tresses,
shoulder-length lioness-styled crown,
and their varied-toned skins;
fair, dark, palsy so many different shades
in one family, it's a wonder how genes work.
all these differences held tight by a love
that flowed so abundantly from shy mom and salt fish market businessman dad.
how they had run helter skelter
from their games of rope jumping, hide and seek, hopscotch, ....
for home when they saw daddy
strolling home with his straw basket round his elbow, the dollars and cents of the day to get the family runnning.
his subtle gentle smile that hid a world of love for the frightful children in his presence.
the children who all earned
much favours from their
keen attitude towards studies
and those paper bags they
so skillfully folded and
gummed for daddy's merchandise
as well as for friends
to earn those extra cents
to get tickets for the
next famous epics from
hong kong, taiwan.
brother fell in love with one fair one
in his upper secondary study.
a puppy love that soon turned sour.
my childhood lane's
only broken heart story.
my childhood lane
how every inch is still
still filled with
experiences sweet, sour, bitter,
a part of my life
that runs like a cartoon movie.
those childhood characters
I wonder whether
they could spare some time
with me to to walk down
those cement blocks and
tarred road
that have overtaken
the scenes but not the soul.
i wonder could that be their best days too?

by john tiong chunghoo

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