• the_vacant_soul 6w


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    Old women

    Old women do not fly on magic wands
    Nor make obscure prophecies
    From ominous forests.
    They just sit on vacant park benches
    In quiet evenings,
    Call doves by their names
    And charm them with grains of maize.

    Or, trembling like waves
    They stand in endless queues in
    Government hospitals
    Or settle like sterile clouds
    In post offices awaiting mail
    From their sons abroad,
    Long ago dead.

    They whisper like drizzles
    As they roam the streets
    With a lost gaze as though
    Something they had thrown up
    Never returned to earth.

    They shiver like December nights
    In their dreamless sleep
    On shop verandahs
    There are swings still
    In their half-blind eyes,
    Lilies and Christmases
    In their failing memory.
    There is one folktale
    For each wrinkle on their skin.

    All dawns pass
    Leaving them in the dark .
    They do not fear death,
    They died long ago.

    Old women once
    Were continents.
    They had deep woods in them,
    Lakes, mountains, volcanoes even,
    Even raging gulfs
    When the earth was in heat
    They melted,shrank,
    Leaving only their maps.
    You can fold them
    And keep them handy :
    Who knows, they might help you find
    Your way home.