All these may well
come to nothing,
and all the hopes.
World doesn’t owe us poets
a reading.

Or if it does attend,
we may not tell
how mind or heart
should turn its meaning
but where it will.

And some there are
who have denied us all
fellowship and identity,
reserved their rank
in the national roll.

But should you read these lines,
and if they move,
I would you share their longing
with a friend, our people,
and all who love.

And let those scribes
at every turning
think up new barriers,
let them repress
a common yearning.

by Ee Tiang Hong
from Tranquerah (1985)