I know some countdowns will never start
Or end. Of life, the launches that we do
In our bedrooms, in our heart and in our books.

We make hairstyles redundant,
And some avant-garde, and a little difference
In how the privileged call all the shots.
The dichotomy of stripes and stars.
In one first-world country

And there is one man
Who with a comb-over took the peoples power
To where there is an oval bureau inside white facades.
A man who can comb the economy in so many different ways
And stabilize it with gel or hairspray.

And I still think of that great nation.
Of how the corn bowl carries bigger than life maize plants.
And how in a border town, stunted yellow-skinned Mexicans
Look up to a species domesticated. For renewal of their god-forsaken lives.

And they hide inside their hearts
Kernals of teosinte, wild corn, hoping for
A bigger cob of maize, prosperity. Knowing
It only needs one cross, some chiasma, to breed fat cobs
Spilling over with juicy kernals.

And they carry rosaries of the Virgin Mary.
In their pockets, and recite Hail Marys
As they make the long journey over a dessert.

And they will meet lady Liberty one forthcoming day
In a dessert town in California. When they
Will smile to each other and give each other
Hugs and high fives. A much-anticipated play date with freedom.

Holding little memorabilia,
Little toys – a map, a flag and a statue

Made in some lowly sweat shop in Sri Lanka.


Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld.

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