- Old Folks Home
All day long they lie on the
straight rows of white beds or sit
in the heavy-duty wheelchairs
pushed out into the breezy sunshine
of the gardens.
Trapped in the prisons
of their own failing bodies,
they drift in and out of the haze
of senility, patiently serving
out their sentence.
Still the bright-eyed teenagers come,
on Saturday mornings, by the busloads,
sent by their schools
on compulsory excursions
to learn the meaning
as outlined in the CCA syllabus.
They bring gifts of Khong Guan biscuits,
they help to mow the lawns,
they clap their hands performing happy songs
and valiantly they attempt the old dialects
trying to communicate.
Later they will clamber noisily
back up the departing school buses,
and next week in class
they will write startlingly
on what a meaningful,
memorable experience they had
at the old folks’ home