POEM: CAST-OFFS (for Miss Ethiopia)

for Miss Ethiopia
by Cheryl L. Daytec

Everything is in two suitcases

I leave nothing but bitterness

And a smorgasbord of garbage:

Old clothes, used toothbrushes

Empty canisters, assorted papers

Receipts, a small bottle of olive oil

Yes, even the sharp memories

The beautiful, the acrimonious

And the variegated scandens vine

I pruned from its mother spreading

Its foliage in a big corner claypot

I put it in that light sky blue vase

Bought on discount from Tesco

That vine barricaded my sanity

When it was desperate to escape

From the matrix of my solitude

I did not put the English channel

The snow-capped mountains

And the one hour gap between us

She felt I deserted her anyway

I was a usual presence, a habit

The vine traveled to her room

My surrogate- a warm presence

She put it back to my window sill

The moment she touched my hair

Again. Was that a Friday in winter?

Soon the gentle cleaning old man

Will discover the vine orphaned

I was told he will put it in a curve

At the edge of the swimming pool

Where it will grow longer, longer

Like live strands of memories

Snaking their way through time

Until they lingeringly grow too long

That no one - perhaps not even we

Will remember how they began/ cld