The boy who alighted at Beauty World

by Chua Han Au

he drilled his head harmlessly
against a rabbit plush toy he placed
on his father’s thigh

carried a perfectly innocent white smile revealing charming gaps in between his milk teeth

oh sweet little one

he stopped abruptly

Father wholly engaged in whatever
duties his phone demanded of him

he changed from mindless play
to arithmetics
counted his tiny toes
1, 2, 3…. 4,5
and repeated silently
with burgeoning excitement

he is a fortunate child

but alas his father –
parents of this age –
will he regret today
he today
is redolent of other adults
lawlessly authorising their children to play with iPads insolently
on dining tables in restaurants

he is a fortunate child

but may he soon find deep love for books and family
not with his shadow, he thinks of as affinity

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