Indonesia, September 1999


please, scrape out
the blood from beneath
your fingernails
fill the basin with water
take hold of the soap
& wash, remember
when you did this
& traced patterns
over the limbs
of your children
& held them relaxed
in the soapy calmness
of it all
remember the glow
& the sounds
an almost joy
to be floating
once again
take a towel
or rag or any clean cloth
& dry your hands
now examine them
are they clean enough
to go to the table
to eat & talk of the day
if there is no talk
if there is only
the grammar of silence
then pray to your god
& i will pray
to mine

Rory Harris

Author: Rory Harris

Rory Harris teaches at CBC Wakefield Street, South Australia