Her Children Look For Her

Life and death are in the hands of God she said

as a boat is in the hands of the dark water,


and now her children look for her

in the zizz of her sewing-machine each evening

and the smell of cardamom.


She said: life and death are in the hands of God.

As the sun beat on the roof of the van

she closed her eyes to dream,


and her children look as the Pole Star goes up

close to the moon.




Why is the mimosa here

inside its dark frame?


So down-to-earth, it comes out workmanlike

year after year, breaks its own branches

with plumes that make the sky quiver.


Let’s sit here, on the bench, under it

to rest while you get your breath.


Winter’s over, and look, in this dustbin

someone has planted wallflowers.

There’s pollen all over your arms.


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