Windows

The simple mix of wood and glass
the perfection of my childhood:
the halfway house – like growing up –
between the world and me.

A frame of mind, a frame in mind
a transparency which
is the shadow of the future.
The point between, the scene beyond.

My childhood window opened
to a bed of ice-begonias
under the nettles of passion fruit
attacked by snails, homed by humming birds.

The remembered window of a train
I took to Nawala Pitiya hills
the tea-flowers twinkling
in the carpet of our desire and wealth.

The car windows of my lonely years
through which I watched the rags and riches
the success stories and the disillusionment
crumbling bridges across the social barrios.

The windows I closed to keep out
the chaos and violence
the stench of kerosene and burning tyres
the sound of gunshots in the nights.

The windows through which I see the world
and the world sees me.
The windows I fling wide open
to remember
and close
to forget.

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