house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina, December 1994

It's cold, God it's cold.
The road
pretends it's ready for a merry Christmas
and we pretend
that we are Santa's Elves carrying gifts...

I carry a gift.

He brushes my sides with translucent fingertips
and they feel like wings and petals
like I'm bearing a dragon stuffed with roses.
He kicks my belly with a heel
the size of a lost bronze coin.
And now I can feel his head
inside the clasp of my ribs
nudging upwards
to listen to my heart-song for a while.

You and I make jokes
about the chicken that crossed the road
('why did it cross?'
'To jump into my flask!'
'What's in the flask?'
'Chicken soup!'
Laugh: 'Oh I see.
Anywhere but Mostar!')

Mostar, the cursed.
Mostar, where it rains fire.
We're driving to Mostar.
God, it's cold.

And then we're almost there
the graceful Neretva
(the calm, the luminous-green)
alongside, guides us when,
somewhere ahead
it sure rains fire.
The earth shakes
spews dust and snow
a giant, awoken.

We stop inside the tunnel.
'Where's that flask?' you ask.
The baby kicks.
(I should have listened)
But no. I too sip soup
(chicken soup!)
and chatter, and sip again.

Then I too spew.


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