Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Andrew Tranter


Greeted with a smile from beneath a leathered face of wrinkles
Happy, jovial, offering food and drink with a grin to these strangers
Vodka and glasses appear, then bread and soup swimming in mayonnaise
Excited offering seats at a table in the sun, we sit with pleasant smiles
I removed a radio from my back with a sigh, just glad of the rest

Translator interprets mumbo jumbo spluttering back and forth with an officer
Wide armed gestures from one then the other until a pointed finger
No clue of the language other than hello but none needed to understand the replies
Protested pleading of innocence and ignorance and fresh fruit appears
I switch off to this familiar scene and gaze at the world around me

To the left the remains still smouldering of four houses
To the right two more the same and the street disappears from view
Across, a curtain blows in the breeze of a half charred window frame
Yellow and white squares, child’s room perhaps maybe a girl?
A dog of no particular breeding limps to my side and flops to the floor

Bird song disappears under the sound of a 432 announcing its arrival
A crown appears on a shoulder and the conversation starts anew
More arm gestures and more innocent offering and I switch off again
I have an hour, maybe a little more before I have to re-join this world
I drown it all out in the lines of a tune “I hope you guess my name”


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