Monday, March 23, 2015

Les Naufrages de Tana or Aeneas' Descent


Once green rice fields now vast wastelands of muddied flooded lives


a forgotten ragged dolls
faded photos from a wedding day--their Sunday best
a forgotten bag of sugar

underneath a mattress 
                   a black comb 
                   a derelict flip flop
                   a stack of 10,000 ariary notes saved for a daughter's birthday
                   a crumpled torn facture
                   a once vanished silver ring

All these things
All this trash treasure
All these dreams
So many too many so many so long

Buried underneath the agnostic weight of miles of water

From the top of the hill in Ambohimanarina the ruined rice field stretches out as a darkened brown lake
The winds whipping crests across it

Slanted shanty rooftops bob out like a boneyard of half sunken ships. 

Barely buoyant pirogues manned by waiting Charons ferry families back and forth from derelict stranded villages

The ariary must always appear under the tongue--something
                                                                                someone    must always be buried.

But for the sweaty dirty mama reny
in the faded ratty plastic-sheeted tent

along the digue in Tana

Charon steals away even the cool tidal promise of death--

instead cursing reny to wander the dykes
crying for a smile
sleeping to forget 
longing for sun
hoping for harvest

looking for a hand

praying for a path



No comments:

Post a Comment