All day there is no heat. For two days the water was frozen.
I had asked the sky for a gentle rain in a bleak winter.
No answer. So this is how homeless pilgrims run out of luck.
They stump on if canes keep them upright. I imagine the days
that are nothing but night, when not even the moon appears.
I know no other way but to hobble on; even crawling
is a boon to the thirsty, hungry one I have become.
I have come to the last day of the penultimate month
of my bliss turned into the haggard cry of a tongueless death.
All woe to him then. He knows nothing of the world’s last gasp.
He waits for thunder. He is poised for lightning to strike near.
The trees, gnarled and burnt, silhouettes against the dying sky,
the birds turned upside down in the wind smothering their wings–
they are part of the body’s map stripped and blown to the poles.
(29-30 November, 9 December 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander