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james mcgonigal
Poet  •  Critic

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       Village

A dusty oasis, River of Sand.
The women are pleased we can chat
in their own tongue and word goes round:
‘Come and see them. They are just like us.
They wear our clothes and eat our food,
and they have fathers and mothers too,
brothers and sisters. No difference at all!’

Our ancient hostess guards her door,
dispensing information to the crowd:
‘These two are sisters, look—just the same.
The other is a friend but they are all like sisters—
their money in the one purse and their food
cooked in one pot. Their country is England,
just over the mountains. Near Hindustan.
They are the people of Allah.’
 

Click on the poem title to read the next excerpted poem from Turning Over in a Strange Bed.