My Monday Metrical Musings #92

singapore flag themed painted hand in peace sign gesture

Buckling under the weight of 57

The need to perform
To show we’re great all along
Every year at this time
To soar to heights divine

But what if I’m not
Keen any more?
What if this time I’ve
Stopped keeping score?
Like how I’m always five years behind
But I’m wondering if this yearly gala display
Is how patriotism’s truly defined?

So what if I choose
Not to sing along
To yet another annual
National Day Song?
Am I to be branded
A traitor a scoundrel
If I don’t fly the flag
Outside my window?

What is it with this need each year
To constantly trumpet and show our loyalty?
Does it mean if we don’t
We’re ungrateful we’re rotten?
We should be kicked out of
This slice of heaven?
That we don’t deserve to share the honour
The privilege to be citizens of this soil
This our sovereign nation?

But what if I told you
I can’t help but tremble
As I see the precipice
We’re about to tip over?
What if I told you fissures
Are about to expand
On this our now-57-year-old

That our social compact
Is on the brink of collapse
As inner struggles erupt
Taking us to unchartered

I know it’s not the sorta thing
That nationalistic ears
Would care to hear
At least not this week
When we celebrate
Our 57th independent year

But then again there’s
Really no
Better time than this
As we blow out the candles on 57
To examine this
Our paradise
Our slice of heaven

To identify the cracks
And widening gaps
Like LGBT, abortion
Capital punishment.
Or gender identity
Meritocracy, poverty
Costs of living
Politics and even religion.

If we simply parade
Or shoot fireworks
In hopes to pretend
Unpleasantness will disappear
Then don’t be surprised
When things go south
It may be too late by then
To thrash things out!

So while I’ll still say
A heartfelt “Happy Birthday!”
My heart is all a-flutter
Not from this celebratory hour
But our tenuous

As we buckle under the weight
Of a hefty 57-year wait
For enlightenment
To tread the next 57 years

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