My Words: Candles by Alvin Pang

Singaporean poet Alvin Pang.
Singaporean poet Alvin Pang. PHOTO: ST FILE

oi, ah pa know you take candle from the church again, you going to get it.

nevermind i bring them back when you study finish. you dont say he dont know. so dark how to read, how to study?

got moon tonight can see a bit. ah leong house got light, i use mirror can borrow a bit of light. good enough. candle you bring back. i dont want wait get scolding because of you.

i bring all the way home you ask me to bring back for what? anyway tonight good friday church got so many candles they where got notice nine less?

notice dont notice also wrong. you bring them back.

dont want.

go now. late already, wait ah pa come home you die.

dont want. wait the sisters see me bring back so many candles they know i took them.

just say you give them to baby jesus lor.

so stupid, baby jesus is christmas lah. good friday is dead jesus!

anything lah. i not go church one how i know? you just bring them back there ok? ah pa always say people must be honest. cannot steal, cannot cheat, cannot lie.

ah pa say that but he also lie what. last week health inspector come he

also lie, say our house very clean. actually he hide two dead cockroach under one shoe.

that was different. that was government. lie to government dont count because they dont care whether you good or bad, they just want money for licence. no license we die they where got care.

jesus also like government what. he where got care whether you blind or not, house got light or not. he just hang up there all day for people to see, put money in box, give him so many candles for nothing. he also not taking exam, i borrow some candles to study why cannot.

aiya up to you lah. say so much also no use. you better go study before ah pa come home.

say so much i hungry already. i go downstairs buy mee from Fat Girl, you want?

dont want, i full. ah ma see you eat some more she scold you. eat and eat, so stubborn and fat like pig. wait you dont study fail exam then you know. you so fat and stubborn next time can do what?

i can be driver like ah pa, or sell meat like ah leong, or gangster like ah soon. then government come ask for money i call my gang beat them up. anyone bully you or sis i beat them up.

xiao, you become gangster get injured how? head kena parang chop one big hole how?

then you better quick study become doctor lah. then if i need hospital you can cure me. then ah por cough also can cure. also make money so can have light in the house. then no need borrow candle from jesus anymore.


More poems on That's Life Ep 1 here.