In chill October England
the African waits incongruous
by the grey concrete divide
of a duel carriageway.

He wears a leopard skin hat
and the curly white beard of
an old man. In his hand,
a tool dangles like a nonchalant

machete. He has bare feet
and baggy shorts and has
come from the woods,
filled with cool heartbeats

of high latitudes. He hears
as he heard in his homeland:
the voices are different
but still voices, greener

and more tidal, sleeping
for half the year at least.
Yet his heart beats as full
of blood as when his calloused

feet scuffed red, dry earth,
and though all through his
eyes is a paler brother,
less rich, quelled

rather than vibrant,
the murmurings he feels
through his soles
are so similar in vibration

he cannot help but
accept the meek light
as home, and breathe in
the arrival of happiness.


copyright distilledvoice & Ben Truesdale