“There are no sons to give shelter,
no father, no family
for the one seized by Death,
no shelter among kin”
The shadow lengthens, breaks on the sugarcane fields
as the day advances. There is very little that I can do
before darkness settles at the corners of my eyes,
the cold stiffens the bones as indigo dusk deepens.
The footwear has worn thin doing chores, my palms
are a complex fold of lines, scales of skin and age.
I have picked a lifetime litter of dry leaves from almond trees,
collected oranges fruits that hung like rice paper lanterns.
This is the last winter, I stand before a hearth stoked by
strange hands and drink my tepid tea alone in a hotel room
that still holds warmth of bodies wrapped in swathes of
Kashmere shawl as the moon froze like a saucer of milk.
I remember the lives that started journey from my loins –
paths since covered in dust. My life map is a crisscross of transits;
at every departure a new passenger sat on the seat next,
telling not the stones I gathered on the way, but the ones I dropped.
Photo : Pete McGregor