How the Land Lies

There is grit in the air,

fragments of torture

injustice

via newsfeed, live feeds

daily grit

yesterday and today

everyday

we navigate a grit storm

and try to save ourselves

 

my friend finds pictures

in inconvenient places

stops suddenly

on roads and street corners

Has me wait

While he makes a frame

for this discarded stain,

that broken brick

Grit has become a way of life

 

Brexit. My friend will have an Irish passport

and I will not

Still I am lucky. I have two passports

one that gets me in to Ireland

to my friends’ foremothers’ endz

where the earth smells good.

and the water never fails

earth water running brown, down hills, under my feet

clear sky water lashing, rinsing me through

lakes and oceans in which I will not swim no matter who says what a fine day it is

and there is grit of course

always grit

 

Africa.

my friend makes us the picture

our family walking on sand

baobab trees in the frame

and a fishing boat

and the seven of us

unaware of the lens

with our backs to the sun

and to the grit we hope

our eyes forward

the I and I

wrapped in our beloved Mamaland

 

You think you might

in the right circumstances

with a favourable current, a tailwind,

escape

outrun this gritty system

except Babylon is a photo bomb

a where’s Wally on a page

always somewhere in the frame

we the navigators

seeing how the land lies

its sunsets, shadows, deadly edges

we take up tools

dig for the maps drawn under our skin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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