Imagining a landscape is easy
What is not
Is grappling with its spirit and pull.
In the Piazza del Signoria
Shoals of tourists jostle, gaping at marble and stone:
And nearby, the Arno stretches casually.
I hawk my stash of children’s toys
I slip, a nameless shadow between thin spaces
Surely the Piazza dims like light at end of day?
Fireflies guide me through the paddy fields,
You know, the one which Munir’s uncles own.
Rich perfume of earth beats as blood in my veins
There, that’s my home – just at the end of the fields
Beyond which lies the mighty river
Mother, Giver of Life, we call her
Where come dawn, my brother nets sweet-fleshed Hilsa.
That is Abbu, dozing in the courtyard
My brother’s children pull his beard and run away.
His bare feet rub the earth in blessing
He lifts up his head to look at the stinging horizon
Soon the call to prayer will sound; he sighs,
Perhaps he thinks of me.