Sometimes you’re not kind
When the scrawny dog, skinny and scabby suckles her pups and nips at them to leave her alone. Then scatters, driven away by stones thrown by annoyed kids.
And sometimes you’re not gentle
When the traffic roars past and the dust fills your nose and eyes and the relentless heat finds every gap between the shade
And sometimes you’re not quiet
When the roosters crow from 5am and join the drummers and karaoke through the wall.
Discordant, too many songs with no conductor.
But tonight, I’ll slip into something less comfortable, abandoning the t-shirt and skirt
For a dress, with buttons and sleeves and shoes with a heel
And dab the perfume on my wrists and neck
Where it’ll last in the cool instead of sliding off with the sweat.
And I’ll ride my scooter through the quiet streets to watch the sunset
Wood smoke fragrant in the air. Bar-b-ques lining the street.
And a gentle breeze against my bare skin.
I’ll watch the boys in the retreating tide, picking through the sea washed coral
And as dark falls, be surprised by the man, walking along the road, wet footed, web footed, carrying his spear and fish, the sea still drying on his skin.
The traffic lights flashing orange, flashing orange, flashing orange,
Beating through the night til dawn
welcome me home.