༺ bucket ༻

stick

walking stick
on the conveyor belt
at the airport

the official
picked it up
and called after
the old couple
who had just left

“I think you’ve left this”

they turned back
still fiddling
with belts
and jackets

this was the moment
that I had dreaded

“the stick is mine”

all three
looked at me

mute

I still thought of myself
as a fuckin Samurai

I still thought of the stick
as belonging to my dad

it’s not a katana
ssssssik
with its rubber ferrule
thomp thomp

my cheeks burned
with a clamour
I couldn’t name
as I thomp
thomped away

HC: 2022-10