Going Back

He woke up in a strange land
with a window on the past
a river once odorous and putrid
flowed past now sweetened
with tourist development in a
most local Chinese fluorescent fashion
but sprinkled with European coffee shops
and Mediterranean bars.

Whole families on one motorcycle
vied for position as the lights
counted down to green
and Louis Vuitton laden housewives
carried pampered Pekinese.
A band of school children practised
the physical remnants of ancient knowledge
as the single dingy sails reflected
an economic miracle.

Life restored to a once peaceful river
polluted by economic necessities
and now transformed to a sweet smelling
place of clean recreation
as the harbour once and still
a hub of oceanic commerce
now with trendy bars and restaurants
an oriental fisherman's wharf
a place to visit on days of rest.

His wife now revisiting her home town
and his son lay sleeping
in the hotel bed.
Where does the door lead too?

by David Taylor

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