Christine Chia (b. 1979)
The Last Leaf (A Ghazal)
Over the years, she influenced my writing style.
Now I write in short sentences, in the active voice.
Lee Kuan Yew’s eulogy for his wife
Is the last leaf falling? I ask myself.
There is no one left now, except myself.
It’s become my habit to keep living.
The effort’s absurd; I laugh at myself
walking, swimming, cycling in a triathlon for one.
Her race is done; I’ll finish mine myself.
Not many more miles to go now; press has
obituary ready. To read my self
in windy words my wife would pencil out
is a joke she would have enjoyed herself.
“How pompously they write, my dear Harry.
They need me to edit; or you yourself.”
by Christine Chia
from Separation: a history (2014)