Poetry / February 2008 (Issue 2)

Three Photos on Your Travels

by Agnes Lam

Above your bed
hang three photos

taken on your travels,
each about the size of
a sheet of writing paper.

On the left,
before historic buildings,
a road in a city of fast traffic,
the cars invisible, only lines
of multi-coloured light
shooting across
the night.

In the middle,
another road on a mountain slope,
a cave by the roadside,
a small shop with no door,
simple objects hanging inside,
light pouring amber from the cave,
darkness all around.

On the right,
a wooden jetty,
a bank of snow,
the air tinged with blue light,
the dawn about to break
on the water at the far
end of the jetty …

From Hong Kong to Oxford,
from Oxford to London,
from London to Harvard,

road after road
you must have walked on,

sometimes in the company of friends,
perhaps after a dinner,
but more often alone
after library hours,
your backpack of law
books, a 5 kg laptop
weighing on your spine.

you were thinking
of going home
to your room
of light
in the vast mountain
of darkness around you.

you were waiting
at the end of the jetty
for the sun to rise
to warm the water,
the snow,
your face …
I do not know
what the future holds for you,
what other roads you will travel.

But I know
you have been brave
trekking by yourself

through the city of the night,
the darkness in the mountain,
the ice of no woman’s land

only with the light in
your young heart,
the little space of rest,

your home,
your bed.

12 May 2006, Cypresswaver Villas
for Rachel

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