Saturday, December 8, 2007

DRIVE, a Poem

DRIVE


Tomorrow,
in the morning,
I will drive
from Beirut to Jerusalem,

my son and daughter
swaddled in the back seat,
a white flag draped
on the windshield,

a cage for a cock and hen,
some source of eggs,
a briefcase
with letters

my grandfather wrote
when he left for America.
I must not forget
the urn, my mother's beads.

The sea breeze will refresh
us. I will avoid potholes
with swift and limber
driving. I came back

during the cold peace.
I do not read leaflets
dropped from the sky;
perhaps I am a fool

to believe in the witchcraft
of white, sun bright,
sea blue, roads empty,
rats scurrying

into basements,
whelps, squeals,
constant blackness
while I crank my engine,

son and daughter
in the rear-view mirror,
hood flagged,
cock in song, in flight.



-- Indran Amirthanayagam c)2006