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Main » 2008 » October » 29 » A heart-wrenching poem: Toby II
A heart-wrenching poem: Toby II
5:23 AM
This was a short story-poem excerpted from the book,"In Seach Of Words". The author is Jeffrey Lim Sui Yin.

Toby II


We never awaken from our dreams.

A crowded bus at rush hour

Eager bodies push to get home

But Toby will take any seat he is accorded

It so happens that they give him one

Toby is dressed in a blue short sleeve shirt

Toby's face is wrinkled

Toby's hands are shaking

Toby has lost his dimples

Of long ago.

Bus pitches back and forth

Swaying with the rise and fall,

Toby is rocked gently by a traffic mother to sleep

Toby closes his eyes and dreams

Toby's quivering eyelids

Shield shy eyes that sometimes peek from their folds

At the angry,busy people

Toby has never understood them at all

He shrinks as a teenager brushes past him, rushing

He has nothing to offer prospective robbers

The wallet is just a happy self-deception

He keeps tissue in the folds

His hands still hold an old,old watch, from his father

In a kinder time.

But now the dream takes hold.

Toby stops peeking at people

Toby dreams of a time

When he did not shrink from people

Dreams of a time when he did not have to rush

To don a janitor's suit and feel coarse in the throat

Dreams of a time when his truest friends

Grew up and left him as the rapidly aging child

Memories are all that he really has-

Dreams of his childhood.

A fifty six year old child is difficult to accept,

Forty years old man, forty years.

Tried to wake him up but he just tumbled off his chair,

The people around him seemed shocked to find him dead.

The driver can question dead Toby all he likes,

No one could have guessed that this was still a child

It had to happen, toby and you knew it:


We never awaken from our dreams.

To me, the moral of the story is, we should be thankful for what we have today. There are always unfortunate people out there. Furthermore, we have become too centered on and indulge in seeking material needs in life that we neglect the basic human touch in our life

What does this piece signifies to you?

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