A tale bigger than a little girl's hands

by Saerelune   Oct 28, 2014

I still recognize the little girl
whose hands smelled of pandan cakes
and trespasser's coins -
sweat shimmering
like the brand-new bike you never had,
as you ran through markets
with feet, so tiny,
they could've been wrapped
into lotus leaves
like a Chinese dish,

though they never looked like
the shining shade of rice,

your skin was always rough
with pecks of the chicken
and scratches of the street.
Yet you weren't a villager,

just a little girl amid skyscrapers
which never constructed ladders to the sun.
And somewhere along the same road
there was this rickety house
where you, the gods, and geckos lived.
Ceilings were incense-scratched
like your parent's hands,

and those tiny lizards that stuck
to the walls, or your shoulder,
were the only smooth-skinned ones
beneath the same gap-less roof of sky.

In time, that sky closed
and you learnt that buckets of rainwater
wouldn't be carried anymore;
you learnt that your childhood
was broken, like a gecko's tail:
tired of growing
whenever it's caught
by two good-willing fingertips.

In time, your tale grew old;
your hands grew old,
pages you gathered from the sidewalk
tucking the future far behind.

And now you wonder, why I know
that your mother's little daughter
would always live with a dowry
of hardship in her hands.

Mother, I know
because I'm just a little girl too.

Old poem, need to find the date back.
Think it was 2011 or 2012.


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Latest Comments

  • 4 years ago

    by Baby Rainbow

    This poem is filled with such a touching story that it really reaches out to you from the very start of reading it, even the title which the author has picked, gives an indication that it might be a very moving write! I like the way the poem is narrated, towards the characters mother, this makes the poem very personal. It also leaves gates open for readers to connect to the poem personally too.
    The metaphors used are quite unique and gave such a big impact to each point that was being made within the stanzas. I find the relationship between mother and daughter a very special bond, and to write about it in this way really does show how strong and powerful it can be. A really excellent write.

  • 5 years ago

    by Baby Rainbow

    Congratulations on your win, I really like what you did with this poem, and I love your title, what a really unique idea. It holds a really touching story and I like the ending when you then start to aim the poem back to your mother, and state that you are a little girl too. Nice way to end the poem.
    The use of the lizard throughout worked well, and again brought something quite unique to the poem, made it your own. The spin on the tale and tail also was impressive, and unique!

    The metaphors were really good, I especially liked the "sky closing" - great idea.

    just a little girl amid skyscrapers
    which never constructed ladders to the sun.

    - another amazing line that I could read again and again. That sun really out of reach, but sometimes feeling so close that it is teasing!

    It was nice to read.

    Congratulations on your win!
    Well done

  • 5 years ago

    by nourayasmine

    Obviously, I was so excited that you posted this again...

  • 5 years ago

    by nourayasmine

    Double post. Sorry.

  • 5 years ago

    by nourayasmine