Ecce Homo

May 2, 2009

This poem first appeared in a Facebook note titled “On the Morning of the Day that Matters” hours before AWARE‘s historic Extraordinary General Meeting on 2 May 2009. It was later published in The Kent Ridge Common (6 June 2009).

Ecce Homo
(For the Women)

These are the ways of men.
With clenched hearts, empty but tight,
we aim to hit your souls with stones.
It is how we are taught to look strong,
our eyes staring out, our minds recoiling.
It is how we come to wear armour —
there is nothing we have to feed our young.
So we draw endless blood with sharp ideas,
shuffling at the feet of other men.

But Dawn is a woman.
In my parents’ house, she wakes up first
to boil drinking water, a gentle presence
smelling of dew. She arrives first at the grave,
and she arrives again and then a third time.
She is that diurnal creature of hope, a face
opened to the sleeping day, willing to trust,
needing the fists of no man’s ego,
lesser still, a hardened idea.

Gwee Li Sui

Ecco Homo
(For the Women)
These are the ways of men.
With clenched hearts, empty but tight,
we aim to hit your souls with stones.
It is how we are taught to look strong,
our eyes staring out, our minds recoiling.
It is how we come to wear armour –
there is nothing we have to feed our young.
So we draw endless blood with sharp ideas,
shuffling at the feet of other men.But Dawn is a woman.
In my parents’ house, she wakes up first
to boil drinking water, a gentle presence
smelling of dew. She arrives first at the grave,
and she arrives again and then a third time.
She is that diurnal creature of hope, a face
opened to the sleeping day, willing to trust,
needing the fists of no man’s ego,
lesser still, a hardened idea.

Gwee Li Sui

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: