Waiting

Waiting for the Others, Margaret Mair, original art

Waiting for the Others, Margaret Mair, original art

He knows his old friends
Will come eventually,
In time their footsteps
Will turn this way
And they will wander
Back toward the water
They once went out on
Together,
Back to this place
Where the boats
Grunt against the wharf
In the remnant of swell
That creeps its way
Into the old harbour,
Back to where
Old fishing boats
Like the ones they
Once worked on
Come to rust and die.
They will watch
Other boats come and go
And drop anchor
In the crowded bay;
Watch the dinghies
Edging their way
Across the oily shallows
To the dirty shore;
Watch tentative strangers
Step warily on to their land;
Watch empty vessels
Once loaded with
Hungry African souls
Towed in to the dock
And the rescue boats
Disgorge their latest
Thin, hopeful crop,
Just plucked from
The fertile sea,
From vessels to vehicles
Which will carry them
To a cramped new prison
Where weak light creeps
Across their anxious faces
Finding its way shyly inside
Through tiny, dirty windows.
Here outside
The sun will shine,
The wind will blow,
The rain will fall,
The days will come and go
And other men
With other friends
Will come to sit,
To share this stone bench,
To watch and comment
And shake their heads
Together.
And still
The weather will
Flow over them
And time past them
Until they too
Find themselves caught
In its undertow
And drift quietly away
Leaving space for others,
New old men
Sitting gazing
By the water
Waiting for their
New old friends.

Written by Margaret Mair
Sketch, original art by Margaret Mair

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