Promise

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Manolis Aligizakis
Canada

I know it well—he said
that no one will come
to greet me I know it
for the words I spoke
bounced hopelessly off their ears

the children’s innocence
became today’s concern
struggle for a breath of air
how to pay this month’s rent

yet since I grew too soft to lie
my body I shall carry like a leaper
like the sheath of a kernel
blown by the wind to the sideline
where death lurks having
no joyful news

I know it well—he said
with joy I long for the end
in this narrow street
or the other
though before I leave
I promise to the few friends
that the next time
I’ll reveal my secret to you!

Manolis Aligizakis,
Canada

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