ghosts of things

I grew up on stories
Of steamboats and saris
Which travelled from
India to Aden and back.

Suitcases packed,
Passports stamped,
A mother, a father, a child
Migrating to a new land.

One worked at the post office
The second in a bank
The third learnt Arabic
In Fatima’s caring lap.

Flipping through lives
In white and black
Albums become musical boxes
Singing songs to me of my pack.

Things become ghosts
Inhabiting memories and hands
Teleporting tales they’ve been
To the shores of present lands.

I swim and breathe
As I dive into this cloud
Of dotted white cotton,
Indebted and endowed.

Real or make believe?
These stories painted in peace.
Like any other colonised country
Life must be on an unfair lease.

Drills to sit under a table
Crouched, unarmed, in fright
After making your surroundings
Darker than the darkest night.

Sounds of splinters shooting
Through the quiet night air
Black paper covering windows
I recall as if I were there.

The last time across the seas
Three beating hearts would journey,
Leaving behind a life
To fit the required weight category.

Seashores are lines,
Between hope and regret
Where one may live and breed,
Another perishes in death.

Losing home is a loss
No matter a space, a person, a town
No matter if it birthed you,
No matter if it turned you down.

ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things