Forty years exiled from our picnics
in the King's Gardens—
from watching Chinese fireworks
on Now Roz, and eating
crème cakes at the Spinzar.
Exiled from a Kabul sky
curved and blue as a fired mosque tile
or lapis pulled from the hills,
I miss the noonday cannon
booming over a crenellated wall,
and sandaled boys raising a fine dust,
running to keep their kites aloft.
I am a stranger to the Paghmon road,
to tiny lamb kabobs from the tea house and
from cold, mountain streams. In exile still
from the smell of embroidered sheepskin, wet
with Himalayan snow and from Istallif, famous
for carved chests, all these unknown to me now.
I remember bright rugs hung out for sale, silver
poplars edging the river, marking off farmers' fields
and in my sleep, I hear braying donkeys and gaudies'
brass bells, their red wheels, plumed harnesses
jangling down the tree lined Dar-el-aman.
Susannah W. Simpson/Nimrod International Journal /2007
Susannah W. Simpson's poem "In Exile" was published in the Nimrod
International Journal of Prose and Poetry.