The Airship


To make believe
and play that image once again,
as real as a stereoscope card:

The man waits forever
in Ezbekiyeh Gardens in Cairo,
in the same heat,
the same natty suit and knickers.
The same sun
shines on the royal palms--
anchors,
stone-heavy mooring masts,
lotus pillars sunk in grass.

The same man waits there.
He looks our way,
sweat beading under his hat brim,
cane supporting him
straight as the trees,
waiting to sight the horizon,
to hear the buzz of flies become a roar.

The man waits forever--
waits for the shadow to reach his feet,
waits for the grey point to block the sun,
waits for the rush of shade.

To play the image once again:
he waits for its approach,
its humming engines
and silver belly stretched against the land.

Half way around the Earth from where I am,
oxen chatter by their wells.

1980 John Goss