if there was one thing i could change


i would change

the way you

changed my name


my name you threw

so carelessly to the wind from

the tip of your tongue

for an English wife

you cannot have

for love that cannot live


and if you called me again i will


look to the ghost in the looking glass

and remember the Miller’s Daughter

and my red dress and the parrot

and you and you


who called me Bertha


but it is too late for

memories so let me

go away and dance

in my red dress,

let me go free

like a bird

into the flames


that will burn away

your wrath and
my existence to
bring you a new
chapter that


has come too late.


Tan Lixin has been writing since a very young age and has also won three awards at the Commonwealth Essay Competition. She was president of the ACJC's Creative Writing Circle She is featured on Obscured.sg as a writer and blogs at bone, lace where she has sold copies of her handmade poetry chapbook. She is the founder of Dear Wallflowers and The Phrenzy. Currently, she is working (with a friend) on a literary exhibition that will be held in December 2012. She has lived in Choa Chu Kang all her life and loves the stray cats in the neighbourhood. Lixin was part of the 2012 OF ZOOS Summer Workshop.