Monday, November 28, 2011

Ladies spinning parasols
feet cocooned like lotus
against the water
rising over
the slow wood road
find their way down hill
to market.
Their fingers spill coins
across tile tables
for tea and cakes
and ice as sweet as children,
to savor over stories
their mothers once told
each other
in the garden
where jade bushes bent
to greet the peacocks
in the long spring evenings.
They move like mantis,
lithe and sharp,
among the treasure stalls -
paper fans blushing the air
like a bolt of silk
raising them to the sky,
plucking ivory combs
and watching spice
bite the afternoon
in little pieces.
And their pale cheeks glow
soft as mothsong
their lips saffron sung
over secrets
and time away from men
as they turn their backs
on the crowd
hair lifting their scent
and make their way


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