“old man” By Lisa Reily

the red earth path brings searing heat,
homes among mangoes
and palm trees bursting with orange coconuts;
a gravel road, plastic scraps,
an old sack, an empty stall stinking
of palm oil in the sun.
tuk-tuk men call to collect me,
my white skin attracting them like a neon sign
in the night,
but I walk on, past the railway station dog,
his sweet tawny face smiling from the concrete floor,
front paw severed, almost healed.
my way under rusted lights,
across the main road and into an alley
I find you,
legs thin as needles, black skin,
dirty white mundu
and a crumpled pink business shirt,
so pretty against your dark hands.
your feet hard, yellow nails like talons,
long matted hair, faceless,
you sit in red dirt,
slumped against the railway fence.


Lisa Reily is a former literacy consultant, dance director and teacher from Australia. Her poetry and stories have been published in several journals, such as Amaryllis, London Grip, The High Window, Panoplyzine, Riggwelter, The Fenland Reed, Wanderlust, and River Teeth Journal’s Beautiful Things. You can find out more at lisareily.wordpress.com

One thought on ““old man” By Lisa Reily

  1. Pingback: ‘old man’, a poem by Lisa Reily | lisa reily

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