Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

National Day

Sick as a poisoned pup
I hide in my computer
Scrolling for news of a healthy earth,
And everywhere the stinks
Of our expedient wealth rise up,
The skies pant and faint,
The seas choke on rich red and green
Blooms, and the salmon lose
Their way home. I look out
For my students, costumed in plastic
And masked, hiding in plain sight
From the gas their uncles and aunties
Had thrown at them. Family
Is dying in the city as the children
Party, their joy and fear blown
Fresh through its streets
Scribbles on the massive
Genealogical record gripped
By old hands, hiding,
Like me, in their machine.

Prof. Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

Professor Shirley Geok-lin Lim received her Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University. She is Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was a Fulbright Scholar and Wien International Fellow. Her first book of poems, Crossing The Peninsula won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. She is a Visiting Professor with City University of Hong Kong.