The late July damp has settled on the city
like a sweat soaked shirt, but you continue
on the footpath outside the hospital
where workers go to smoke and crows
gather to feed on stale roti and seed.
Further on, across the road,
you give a wide berth to the stinking canine
carcass sprawled in the shade of the shrubs
outside the park’s back gate; further still,
you pass the new camp of tarp and twine
that’s sprung up in front of the fenced-in ruins
west of the fouled drain’s rush.
You’re tiring now, but you understand
that if you keep to this path long enough,
you may find a forest and a quiet place to pray.
Late in the night, sweet water will run
through your dreams; you will hear children
splashing somewhere outside your window,
and from the foot of your bed will come
the yelps and gentle whimpers
of a well fed, sleeping dog.