by RAIMUND WONG

What Donkey Oatie Wants

He wants to know how to be a brave man.

He looks at his drink.
He looks at what his fingers have done.

He wants to know how to be a brave man.

His friends pass him by, one by one.
They seem to do all he could never do.
He reminds himself how, through their eyes,
He is just the same –
Aloof,
Impossible,
Dry,
Distant,
Cold,
Wonderful.

He wants to know how to be a brave man.

A stranger comes and stands in the shade, before him.
A little boy.
The boy asks him, through the grey haze of his dream,
Some question pertaining to the berries,
In the shrub,
Over the street.

Our man, he knows,
The boy is lonely,
The boy is scared,
The boy has more,
And less,
Than nothing.

He sees through his eyes,
His own sorry face,
His own sorry old shit,
Too young yet for rest.

He speaks of the berries,
The shrub,
The sun,
The road.

He wants to know how to be a brave man.

Somewhere in the town, a crow
plays with a crow.
A crow
fights with a crow,
A crow
sings to a crow,
A crow
begs for a crow,
A crow
eulogises a crow,
A crow,
and the air,
And the air,

And a crow.

-26th August 2011