Have you ever seen a twig
dry and frail – tossed about by wind
on the river bank?
I was, the day you walked from me:
an apple tree you had tended
and plucked daily as the sun slept.
I emptied your letters in a kiondo
walked down the river
and left them on the banks
to be swept by high tide.
But went back early morning – afraid to lose
your images forever
and found them soaked but not swept.
A man had squatted where they lay
and left a mound – like a guava stump.
I watched beetles fight over dung balls
they had rolled, only to trip and
lose their day’s struggle to the river.
I bent and picked the scattered letters,
your imprint stared large and straight.
February 2007 was the date
on the top right-hand margin, and below –
your confession of undying bond,
‘Ever yours’, at the bottom.
How could you? I threw them to the river
My ribs ache now – broken,
but I refuse to follow them into the river.
© COVER PHOTO: Alexlinde