‘Coins’ by Eileen Chong1 min read

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after Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Hour’

This evening, in the train station,
I ascended, you descended—
our eyes met, then I turned away.
My husband was behind me, and
you went home, to your wife and child.

It’s hard to believe I once felt
hunger for you, that a stolen
glance would carry meanings (I know
now) were empty. No treasure there—
just these coins, dropped, buried in mud.

Eileen Chong is an Australian who was born in Singapore of Chinese descent. Her poetry collections are Burning Rice (2012), Peony (2014) and Painting Red Orchids (2016).  Chong writes about food, family, migration, love and loss. The Singaporean-Australian poet Boey Kim Cheng has said that ‘Chong’s work offers a poetry of feeling, rendered in luminous detail and language, alive to the sorrows and joys of daily living.’ Her work has short-listed for numerous awards, including the Anne Elder Award 2012 for a first book, the Australian Arts in Asia Award 2013, the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award 2013, and most recently, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award 2017.

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