my father

fashioning on crisp white paper

the outline of an Egyptian

against an alley wall

half asleep


our migrant adventure

taken for granted

at the time


the scratch of the pencil

on his best cartridge

the only sound in the sunlight


then the subject stirs

spits and gathers his cloak   tight

over his shoulder and head


so simply the sketch is ruined


the pencil shades in the cloth

obscuring the outline underneath

like dust settling on memory


how soft the hand

holding the pencil





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