Still Point

Just recently arrived to stay with friends
in a country unlike any other
I’ve lived in, I’m jolted awake in what seems
the middle of the night by the sudden
sound of the early-morning prayer-call.
Disoriented, I listen while a voice,
solitary but amplified to distortion,
reminds the still-dark neighbourhood
of the required observances of another day.
At the end, as the final metallic
tones reverberate into silence
and the microphone clicks off, I peer
between the curtains as if somebody
might be watching.  The street lamps are shedding
sickly yellow drizzle onto wet tarmac,
scraps of last night’s fog hang like ragged
pashminas around the necks of trees
and a man in woolly hat and overalls
who’s leaving for work slides back the side door
of a white Ford Transit.  For now, I’m a life
being lived inside this rootedness, a part
of the place, but soon, in less time than it takes
to see the moment coming, I’ll be gone.

Ken Head

If you have any comments on this poem, Ken Head would be pleased to hear from you.