Later Iím Told Heís Surrounded by an Adoring Ring of Snake-Swallowing Women
by Susanne Dubroff 


At Dillonís Bookstore, Trafalgar Square,
I ask for directions to a Tea Shop.
The woman frowns, emits a curious, throaty, NO!
At the table, while being told by an impatient waiter,
No more soup. And no bread either, I glance your way:
possibly blonde, maybe my age; expensive suit
beneath a pair of large, unhappy, honey-colored eyes:
That is outrageous. These English!
You lean forward, tell me youíre
half-Irish, half-Libyan and waiting
for the small Libyan friend, who may be standing you up.
You say Iím kind. When I reply that Iím not so sure,
you add, All we can do is notice what we feel
and if we feel somethingís right for us,
have the courage to do it. That is all;
and after that, try to give solace
to as many people as possible.
And as I listen, more carefully, dazzled by your words,
you speak of people and events I know little about.
Tell your people to stop demonizing Quadaffi.
It wonít work; he has a ring of love around him.
You rise to go, hand me your address, 
together with a poem about a woman,
married to a Libyan, killed in a plane crash.
Write to me here; may God bless you.
Iím glad youíre going to Scotland.
We are Celtic people. That is something else.
The something else at last brings out your smile.

Copyright © 1999 by Susanne Dubroff.


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