Poetry

I Want to go to Disneyland

It’s the start of the year 2001.
My father asks if I know where I live.
I say, Singapore, in America.
Or at least, close by.
Or at least, I wanted it to be.
I wanted Disneyland to be within reach.

My teacher asks what I want to be.
I say, doctor, or teacher, or princess.
If I could have anything, I wanted to be a princess.
Princesses can have everything they want.
Or at least, that’s how I wanted it to be.
I wanted Disneyland to be within reach.

My primary school had a day every year
Where you could dress up as a character.
For two years, I wanted to be a princess.
The third year, I chose to be Wendy.
I wanted to be the adventurer in blue,
The little girl who learnt how to fly,
The girl who didn’t love a boy enough
To give him everything she had.
I wanted to be the girl who grew up,
The one who could afford to go to Disneyland.

It’s the middle of the year 2016.
My sister asks why I care so much about America.
I say, that’s where Disneyland is.
If they stop letting Muslims in,
I won’t get to go there.
I wanted Disneyland to be within reach.

I want to go to Disneyland.
I realise I say this laced with privilege.
I want to go to Disneyland.
There are children who just want to go to school.
I want to go to Disneyland
Because if I feel safe enough going there
Maybe someone else will feel safe to go to America
To the land where healthcare isn’t perfect
But at least there’s a chance they wont die.
Or at least, not quite so fast.

I want to go to Disneyland.
There are others who just want to go to a hospital.
I give them my plane ticket and my passport.
Or at least, I wish I could.

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