anna omelchenko
They say you can’t go back
by Rose Kelland

I looked back.
Home.
Green lawn.
Edges dancing with sun-drenched colour
Of pansies, impatiens, roses, cassia, pampas grass.

I looked back
At pastures, cows
Grazing in slow motion.

I looked back
At neighbours, friends,
Dogs stretching
Cats chasing moths, butterflies, imaginary insects.

I looked back
At the Hadeda
Jabbing his beak into the choicest worm then
Startled, rising clumsily, squawking.
I wouldn’t miss him — or would I?

Tomorrow
A new family will discover
Tranquillity
Delight.
Another child will roll over the soft green grass
Another dog will dart in and out
Another cat will tiptoe.

Tomorrow
We walk into
Our box within a box.
Bushes lining a cricket pitch garden
Pebbles the narrow width.

Cars lining streets
A constant snake of metal boxes.
Sky unzipped by flying predators
Talons down, screaming at the pounce.

Neighbours hanging undies just inches
From my window.
The sun playing with yellow t-shirts
Pink panties, white pillowslips, green dresses.
A gentle breeze teaching them to dance.

And I long to go back.
Many tears will flow
I can’t go back
Home is another hemisphere.

PHOTO: “Mountains, South Africa, Outeniqua Pass” by Anna Omelchenko. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

Kelland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rose Kelland left South Africa with her husband and youngest daughter, to settle in the UK in December 2006. Her home in South Africa was a semi-rural town, and they moved to south west London, under the Heathrow flight path. Moving from an average sized South African house with large garden, to a mid-terrace small London home, was part of the huge culture shock.

AUTHOR PHOTO: On holiday in Dartmouth, U.K., 2008.