Wednesday, January 11, 2017

POEM: "They came from the middle part"

"They came from the middle part"

They came from the middle part
they'd been mostly hollowed out
the rebels, killers, the survivors
scavengers who when I took
them into the bush would taste
every plant and remember it
the other biggest bunch came
from the Horn of Africa, and
they were not so hollowed out
also killers, rebels, the survivors
of course, but with their joy
which was naturally delightful
to teach, and then to learn from
miming how to hold the pen
and how to draw the alphabet
those unschooled Somali women
head-scarves and multicoloured robes
smiling, laughing, very relieved
at what and who and where they were
still prohibited from natural touching
in the end I taught most of them to read
most of them to write, who wrote me
a letter of sorts when they left
which I know now was a kiss.

© 2017 Rob Schackne

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