Poem of the week: Week Thirteen.

And I’m finally catching up with the April poems. The first one under the theme ‘Exile’ is from Ranjit Hoskoté’s poetry book Vanishing Acts.

Ranjit Hoskoté

Leaving, he looks out of the window,
skirting the edge of the silver wing;
a tear widens in the quilt of clouds,
through which he sees (or thinks he can)

miles below, traffic lights blinking
their green and amber arrows
as rain smears the windscreens of cars
and soldiers jump down from dented tanks.

He clutches his passport. There is no room
for back numbers in his baggage.
The clouds stitch back the widening tear
but he gropes for a towel,

feeling the cabin temperature rise
as though, miles below,
the city of his birth were burning.


I have never known the state of exile and I think I never will. It only happens to others, you think, until it happens to you.



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