by Michaela Anchan
It's a Wednesday and I'm walking past high school girls
in green pinafores.
Long legs and messy plaits,
a flock of forest-coloured flamingoes.
Waiting at the crosswalk and across from me
one girl holds a heart-shaped balloon
between two delicate fingers and a nail-bitten thumb.
She stares with quiet eyes
into the traffic between us.
Further on come the high school boys:
white shoes and socks,
white shirts and shorts.
One with chubby thighs and untucked shirt
He has a fluffy upper lip and darting eyes.
I'm walking home, my daughter's small hand clasped in mine.
A bus speeds past and for one single moment I see inside:
the quiet-eyed girl is smiling behind her balloon,
and the boy's darting eyes
are fixed firmly on his feet.
Michaela Anchan is a New Zealander residing in Singapore long term. She is halfway through a novel, which is currently taking the form of a rural feminist natural disaster love story, but could change at any moment. She is a contributor to Math Paper Press' recent anthology We R Family and is the founder of Woolf Works, a women's community in Singapore.