for Naomi Radunski
I don’t know where the sky ends and you begin.
Pale saffron of dawn, deep crimson sunset.
The great waters falling over the edge
of the world. The planet is breaking up.
A hippo in the mud snouting its way
across, middling along, pausing, diving.
What was it like to be born and reared here?
Dr. Livingstone, I presume, you learned
at bedtime, your favorite story told
until it could not possibly be true.
Mugabe ruined Doris Lessing’s Zimbabwe,
she’s in London mourning her childhood home.
You’re in New South Wales, with your bakery.
You love a man down coast who plays congas.
You are thinking of going back home
where elephants are happier than when you left.
You would bake cookies as an act of love.
Maybe by Christmas. In America
like any other year, then Europe,
finally Zambia, Livingstone, home . . .
(22 March 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander