the dumping ground

by mandaceehb

her voice was different now:

she knew well enough

of the age that had abraded the cheerful, gliding lilt

leaving a rough, weary vibration that glimmered

faintly in her heaving chest

the warning lights flashed:

bright red, or black and white?

already fading out of sight

when she spoke she sometimes

thought she had felt the same vibrations

rippling upon her lips

the questions that tumbled out of her fumbling brain

sounded familiar

and distant at the same time

their brows furrowed in brutal ‘V’s, eyes narrowed

like bursting seams of tolerance

meaningful glances stabbed right through her

WARNING!!! WARNing! warning…

lights blinked like startled animal eyes

every time they said ‘Ma’ with

teeth clenched, offering monosyllabic utterances

the 3 seater sofa sank sadly to the right

where meaningless scenes of cantonese dramas

floated by in her isolation

staring at blank screen with open mouth

new domestic worker easing food into her system

soon the memory chip in her head malfunctioned

and there was nothing

they packed up her clothes

called her ‘Ma’ with tender voices and treacherous eyes

she didn’t remember from infancy

when they rested their hands on her shoulder

they glued the label on

the box slowly closed in around her,

cardboard flaps blocking out the light forever

the driver came to send the defected good

to the dumping ground