Tents staked in desert land, a muted building
of parched earth, in a thirty year old city with a napalm
birth, they wait among gravestones in the sand.
Gypsies don't roam, children play in dust, illusions
of home. A woman teaches without books, invisible
unless sand floors turn black, turn into liquid money.
The thousand-mile wall holds. We want to go home,
not until they own oil or terrorists. Nations clamor
for phosphate and fish, families live a barren existence.
In a London room an electric guitar screams Saharan
poetry across the street from a market waiting for sardines,
gathered from stolen sea. Seven hundred miles from a Saharawi
woman who rations water for children too large for her breasts.
Eighty miles away the sun has moved, a tourist turns her back
for a more exquisite angle, as ocean laps a canary island.
~Originally published in the Red Wheelbarrow Literary Magazine
All rights reserved.
Originally published in the Red Wheelbarrow Literary Magazine.
I wrote this poem after seeing the plight of the Saharawi refugee camps on television one night. I was struck by the way they had formed a matriarchal society. I still think of them so often.