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A different kind of day

A song for England

An’ a so de rain a-fall
An’ a so de snow a-rain

An’ a so de fog a-fall
An’ a so de sun a-fall

An’ a so de seasons mix
An’ a s de bag-o’-tricks

But a so me understan’
De misery o’ de Englishman

Andrew Salkey (1928-95)
From ‘Poems on the Underground’ 9th edition


Woke this morning to see
most of everything covered in
a sheet of white.

Might be snow,
might be ice. I’m snug indoors,
And don’t feel the need to
confirm which one it

It’s a pretty picture straight
out of a postcard, this
white on red bricks, black lines
of bare branches sketched against
a gray cloud.

I’m snug indoors, thinking of the
Republic day parade back home, endless
march of cadets and soldiers, fascinating;
wonder who the Chief Guest is this year – which
country honored to view our military,
cultural, colorful might.

Watching the white melt under the
pitiful sun, I think of Delhi school kids walking
that stretch in the morning. It’s a good thing that
R-day comes in the winter or it would be
too hot
to walk for so long.

I marvel at this planet; such extremes
of weather
of Life.

I’m glad to be here.


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