The Coolie ode
Here we sit
we chat and smoke
This place is different now
even the island folk.
They pass us by along the road
and we smile but they never say hello
Is it true they can’t see us?
For some we know it’s not so.
We toiled and slaved
as no man should
on this little rock in the ocean
we would have left if we could.
Our families are long gone
their bodies turned to dust
they too struggled in their lives
and oh, how they missed us.
If all our tears could have been gathered
a river would have run
we had no choice but to leave them
we turned our backs and it was done.
So far from the long mountain
at times feeling alone
Chasing the dragon to drown sorrows
Many fates remain unknown.
But we are at peace now
no pain, suffering or fuss
and we thank you for the memorial
that you thoughtfully built for us.
The sun is now risingby Fran Yeoh
it is our time to go
Please think of us kindly
and remember to say hello.