Let This Year
by Jee Leong Koh
Let this year be a year better than the last,
the months twelve disciples at supper, one a traitor and accomplice of the Lord,
the weeks a triumph of life, met by love, crowned by rest,
the days awarded each day with a watermelon and a word.
Let the sky be a glass of water, and the sea a plate of fried fish.
Let the man thin with thought drink and eat,
and, if it’s her wish,
let the woman plump with worries diet.
In our travels, let the train arrive on time, and, if that’s impossible, let the train
not trip over the track.
In our work, let the ropes hold tight, and, when the tower rises again,
let the ropes go slack.
Let our love be as our travel and our work,
earning a common currency here on Earth.
Let passion be the night dreams of a smalltown clerk.
Let young love be full of eyes, and let old love be full of teeth.
A year is too brief to empty prison camps, so let a few go free.
A year is long enough for a change of heart.
Let hearts recover liberty.
Let camps be broken by candlelight.
Let the soul learn it is nothing without the body,
and the body learn it is not alone
among the rousing rose, oratorical orchid and lilting lily
the world grows in its spiral garden.
Let this year not be a decade better, for that hope would not be serious,
not a day better, for that would be too much like the past,
and not a year worse, for that would be to go in reverse,
but let this year be a year better than the last.