i see my life running before my eyes

i see myself in Mombasa, 1986

at home

a majestic sea-view mansion

draped in hot weather

big windows are open

but no curious breeze enters

only ununderstood sounds

night creatures

dogs and cats

domestic chicken

and the lapping sea

i am awake

blinking back at the stars

brightening the dark calm sky

4 am

my father is awake

making tea

i press my uniform

i dress

become gorgeous

for the Kenya Airways pick-up bus

to work

a 5 am shift

a small airport

at white beaches reach

fun blue seas


coconut palms rustle

where food tastes like food

from heaven

dad, always there

always quietly there

nudging me

ever so gently

out of my small-town-girl skin

to look up from the chickens here

and find eagles

i leave when they hoot


a spray of expensive duty-free perfume

from free trips around the globe

infuses the house

and he says

Tasunim, ne ke jee

and i

bye Dad.


words: Tasnim Jivaji, Canada (have you got the time?)
image: Peter Schwarz, Maine (Sitrah Ahra)


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