August

by Chua Han Au

it’s August
a week into August
I used to remember dates rather cleverly
writing them down daily instinctively
like an accountant immune to figures

4 more months to the end of the year
4 months ago I enlisted

weeks before my impending military stint
I wrote copiously —
an army of apprehension overkill,
of terrible dreams

4 months after,
I discovered faces I never thought I had
and balanced between brains and brawn

is this growth
or is this a hardening of the heart?

today’s Singapore’s birthday
she has her progress charted
by analysts, economists and government officials
PM Lee’s National Day Message revolved largely
about our society —
in light of terrorism

highlighted its vulnerability

hopefully
after the foiled threat on Marina Bay Sands
we’d be wary, yet inclusive
we’d be kind, and compassionate
we’d be protected, but free

(written on 09082016)

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