A WORLD APART

Trucks grind gears down
to the abrupt wall-banked corner.
A high pitched hriii

breaks through the mist.
Rag pickers trawl
the garbage strewn shore

Bony hands
sift through trash,
tossing aside

what’s been already
tossed aside. Limbs long gone,
trunks uprooted,

the clogged stream whirls
and eddies. A tee-peed criss
cross of bamboo

raised up at the shallows.
Feet in the water, shaved heads
and white skirts, bent

like cranes, their wings
tucked in, the priestly mourners
circle the teepee

and chant. On a far bank,
in a tangle of bush and vine,
children hush their calls

like starlings and crickets.
In their half-concealed shoal,
an overturned bucket

and a wicker chair
set on a washed out mat.
As life closes in

and day eddies away,
the children make this world apart
their own,

a place to return to

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