His life can be traced within walls.
The room he outgrew has housed
fathers, uncles, grandparents.
Over there, on the rotting floorboard,
is where his father swung him into his arms
and told him tales of love.
And there's where he threw up
in a rampant flu season
as a young boy of nine.
It's nothing special,
but it's home.
He watches as you experiment with lives
like hands picking dark-skinned figures
from a dollhouse into the packed box.
Sorrow in his eyes; hidden; forbidden.
He sits on a different seat in a different bus
on a new route home and wonders why.
A bath of mud;
diseases contaminated with water;
Sheltering the walls from wind
with his skin.
Far away, at home, whitewashed plaster
conceals taboo sins.
New children laugh and play in ignorance
while their parents try to forget
© Copyright 2017 Mathew Nicolson. All rights reserved.
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