Two Shrouds p. 1 (of 2)

Ron Singer

Recently, there was a lunar eclipse, total,
the first to coincide with the
since 1638, second in the
Common Era.
Like solar, I expected,
a black-out.
Instead, like a
ragged, dust-colored shroud,
a wispy
cloud, was being dragged across
moon’s very white, almost-round face.

I watched it start to sail across
for a minute, then back to bed.
Later, my wife said the shroud took
hours to dissipate, sail off into space.
In Addis Ababa these days, abundant greenery.
Generations ago, the dry plain was seeded
with eucalyptus trees, a species of colonization
for the good of the Ethiopian people.
Since then, plants, both indigenes and imports,
have flourished, creating bright traceries of color:
green, yes, but purple, too, and more:

yellow, red, lovely, bougainvillea, jacaronda, not to
Croton Macrostachys (Besana).* Come to think
of it,
some may antedate the eucalyptus.
Prevailing, however, is
dust: roads, people, too.
Dry-earth dust, together
with the fumes
from ancient vehicles --cars, trucks,
buses-- black
smoke, white, several varieties of noisome

Author's Not: * Besana îs the Amharic name for Croton Macrostachys.

This ithe first of two poems. Check out Two Shrouds part 2.

This poem first appeared in Red Ochre Lit, 2012

Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia.

Main Location:

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia

Croton Macrostachys