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boat‘stella maris’ do they whisper

in the winding down of dark?

beseeching voices carried on the breezes spire high

across the hot and dusty-coloured town

to the cool indifference

of the white-frothed sea.

pasta on the stove, mama squealing,

do you see the mouse that scuttles

like eliot’s mind across the floor?

feel the violence of the family in its closeness,

its tenderness in the slamming of a door.

and the prayer goes up at seven in the morning,

meandering with the smell of fresh-baked bread.

the dog winks his nostrils, barks awake,

the passionate schoolboy

throws a plane from his window, yawns.

and he hears their whispers,

distant in the past,

touches his crucifix,

swept to his knees

by the voices on the breeze.


Photo of African Queen by Belinda.