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21 December 2012

A Seaside Memory

A memory.
Of Hodeidah.
A strip of beach, Al-'Urj.
Of family holidays.

A memory.
Of driving down the straight road
On a Toyota Land Cruiser,
To the Red Sea.

Singing cartoon theme tunes, while
Abu Bakr melodies floated out
Of the cassette player. 

A memory of
Passing by women, selling camel milk
In plastic bottles.
Passing by pink flamingos,
Perched on their stilts.

Beyond. The sea,
Meeting the horizon.

A memory.
Of running into the water screaming delightfully,
Footprints imprinted side 
By side with the sea shells.
Of being called back to shore for breakfast.
Of racing each other for food.

A memory.
Of a fish. Caught that morning, steaming 
On a piece of aluminium foil.
Its skin grilled to a crisp,
Its flesh melting in our mouths,
Its bones teasing our eager fingers.

What did it taste of?
Of charcoal, smoky and black.
What did it taste of?
Of salt water, dripping from our wet hair.
What did it taste of?
Of sand, making its way from our sand covered feet.

Red tea.
Sweet and hot.
Washing down the chewy bread,
The soft fish.

The tall palm tress,
Their leaves inhaling, exhaling.
The sea breeze.
Us children, hiding behind bushes,
Changing out of our swimsuits.

What did it taste of?


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