Treasure Island

john tiong chunghoo

(Jan 21,1960 / NEW YORK)

Where the Sidewalk Ends


where the sidewalk ends
now a nursery school stands
it slowly quietly comes alive at morn
the gentleness of a breeze as
children with their bags on their backs
walk, run into their classrooms
after the first light of morn

where the sidewalk ends
now a nursery school stands
it quietens down at the last light of dusk
the gentleness of a breeze
as children leave and go happy that they
have fulfilled mom's and dad's wishes
and learnt a few rudimentary words and grammar
their laughters and cheers as they leave
echo those in the lane of my memory
- a few young boys and girls swarming round
a mango tree shaking for its last mango
it had missed my friends and dropped right on my left eye
before plopping onto the ground with a 'bruise' on its yellowish skin
i could still hear the cheers and the question 'who will take this? '

little mary always got the fruit of our play
guess what, she also got married to the best boy of the gang
yesteryears' cheers still shore up the camaraderie
in her reunion dos for all of us
come rain or shine we woud all try to attend
but sadly we would never see the faces of all
someone, somewhere had always ended up at the
sidewalk of another lane, road

where the sidewalk ends now a
nursery school stands evoking
the wondrous time we had spent here

where the sidewalk ends
the first lesson of life begins
where smiles, cheeers and tears
come straight from the hearts
how in every reunion we tried hard
to laugh in the same way, but always
resulted with a tinge of regret we would never
be able to do it the way when we were children
it hurt us like the bruised mango that
had fallen hardhazardly on the lane of our memory

where the sidewalk ends
now stands a nursery school
where joy and laughter abound

Submitted: Saturday, April 09, 2005
Edited: Wednesday, February 08, 2012

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Read poems about / on: school, journey, memory, children, child, childhood, laughter, tree, rain, moon, friend, light, joy, time, wind, dark, life, sun, smile, dream

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  • Michael Shepherd (4/9/2005 5:41:00 AM)

    That's a delightful and clever poem of yours, John, and a nice extension of Silverstein for those of us who don't have that same emotional response to the end of the sidewalk! So this helps to fill in the picture.. (Report) Reply

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