A poem by Suria Tei

THE JOURNEY
For my beloved sister, Peng

In my dream we went on a long trip we’d never

materialise – you and me, sister and sister.

We hiked into a forest in our rucksacks

and picked mushrooms we’d never cook.

We climbed a mountain so high and steep

I clung tightly to your arm on the way up.

We found a giant Rafflesia and marvelled at it

as we clasped our nostrils against the stench.

We trekked a trail plagued with leeches

and helped each other to pluck them off our bodies.

We turned somersaults in the river like trout

despite both of us failing at swimming lessons. 

We braved a sudden downpour as we trudged 

across a bogland, giggling at squelching boots.

We slept in the cradle of a centuries-old Chengal, 

the sky for a blanket, and counted the stars.

And then,

came morning, the end of the journey, 

we walked to the station – but, Sister, 

why did you board the train

without me?

About the contributor

Born and raised in Malaysia, Suria Tei now lives in Scotland. She obtained a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Glasgow.

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