To Breathe Again

by Sadiq Mansor

just as the first flock of swallows
arrows across the cloudless sky,
the sun gloriously spreads a
golden blanket across
the clustered terraces, calling
mothers of all races to assemble at
their own frontyards, wringing the
very last drop of moist before flagging their
morning laundry on colorful bamboo poles

old Auntie Moo isn’t an exception
her self-induced grumbles could be mistaken
for hungry german pinschers on strike
cursing Life as she pegs every
piece of damp wrinkled underwear
questioning the luck bestowed upon her
by the Gods— the same deities she
worship every morning on her doormat
—the same ones who left her widowed,
steeped with boredom and suffocated
by the ever-proliferating population
but was she right to blame them?

on cloudy days, she would plant
a ladder on her second floor patio
climb to the top of her clay-tiled roof,
steadies herself before suspending her legs
before expanding her view
beyond the limited horizon,
knowing that if she were to
ascend upwards in a balloon,
she would see trees, pineapple fields
—even mountains
like how the first flock sees it
at daybreak


To Breathe Again

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