Written when I was living and teaching English in The Gambia.
They are on a journey
To build a better world
I say I will come
I say, I will help.
Dust. It chokes me.
Thick, or is it thin?
It is another entity entirely,
Corrupting my thoughts
Filling my gasping throat..
It burns my gentle soles.
Soft like a flame
Or an urtica.
I'm crawling now
My lily limbs, filthy
Well spoken breath, rasps
Trying to ride my knowledge like a broken bicycle
Their way is clear
Straight backed, indestructible,
Dirt hidden by ebony,
Voices, tuneless, but clear; true.
I call them back, my broken voice
Pleading my superior theology
I question our direction, how can they know?
They say they trust their feet
Soon, they are long gone
And now, I am on my knees, to the god I don't believe in
Precious energy wasted on my words
My horizon, blotched by unanswered questions.
I thought I would show them the way
But they follow a map I cannot read
And they have a guide who isn't me
And I am the one who is lost.