April 24, 2009


To Whom It May Concern.

Dear Sir
or Madam,

All the places where I grew up
have been torn down
because they said
there was no space
and we were
becoming modern.

Why must they build
a police plaza in Pudu,
where my grandparents
grew 'old-man's darling'?

Why can't the state mosque
not be in Bukit Palah,
where I climbed the
frangipanni tree?

Why should the mega-mall
be at 218 Ampang
where I used to play
swinging 'moneyplant'?

Why do my memories
all have to be
only in my head
so I can't show
my children
and their children
and so on?

All the places
where I used to dream
have become towers
because they said they must
build high
and keep the flag flying
for everyone.

The race course
was meant to be
a park within the city.

The playing field
was meant to save
some space for greenery.

The forest reserve
was meant to run
the cable car for fun.

Why must the flag fly
so high where noone
with feet on the ground
can see or touch
or wave it?

I look forward
to hearing from you soon.
And thankyou.

A City Girl

(c) Charlene Rajendran 1999

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