My friend Joe

My friend Joe

Kaau, kaau, the morning crow,

Woke me up from my dream of Joe.

Had she been here you annoying crow,

Mind her slingshots that never fail. Oh my old friend Joe.


Joe was twelve living with her granny,

I was seven, timid like a mitten,

Watching Joe sewing and gardening to help her family,

And dressing up for school clean and tidy, fresh as my memory.


Joe used to take me to the streams,

and block them up with mud and empty the waters,

Crayfish ,clams, paludinas and fish of all sorts,

weighed up in our net and buckets, heavier those days.


Under the moonlight we played hide and seek,

Joe was running and calling for me,

Everyone else had left,

and I fell asleep behind maize stalks.

Now for her I seek, day and night.


A flower whose name unknown,

smiling beautifully in a fairylike garden,

dropped a petal by my pen.

I was about to write before my dream broken, of a forever maiden.

A flower she was, my precious Joe.


Her parents away in coal pits.

sent books and scented soaps to Joe by post.

Cutting the soap package into bookmarks, slim and straight,

Joe wrote on them letters that meant to be given

to me.


As Joe took me presently to the pond

at lunch time

when other swimmers left it empty,

where the vicious weed pulling me down by my feet,

and Joe, who would not leave me in misery.

Where she saved me

she lost her life

at lunch time

in the pond


Kaau,kaau, the morning crow,

Still calling out of my window.

How I missed Joe would she know.




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