Sandra Tan

After some verses in Seamus Heaney’s ‘Squarings’ (Seeing Things, 1991). 

It was a stepping out of sorts, like when clothes were
changed and one drew out item after item
and walked into the air. The lane was like that—
strong with the beams of cherry trees and wide sunlight
that swam the streets, glazing angles. I knew
a part of the self had budded into the
deep and wide unknowable, lightness of day.


It was also like that, hunched in front of the grille,
scooted close on the brown, grubbed carpet,
watching the fire lick the tapered end of wood,
toeing the waters. When eyes travelled back again
from whatever had held it—book or screen—
the trunk would be alight, glowing in a skin
of ruby, live and sparking throb thin as a seam.


Sandra’s favourite writers are Seamus Heaney and C. S. Lewis, and one of her best-loved books is Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. She lives and studies in Singapore.