Author: Dominique B. Renard
Translator: Catherine Hales


on days like this the south wind binds
the drought-struck people in blankets

the towns are dusted in mildew
steel scaffolds kneel in the sand

the great lake is nightmare       is mass to negotiate
is calamity

and hope for a dozen insects of the air
is in the drops that the windscreen washer
wastes on the car’s dark metal


it dries the tears it brings to our eyes
and draws the moisture from leaves

the wind-scoured streets shiver in the bright dry air
concrements crumble from overgrown walls

bright smoke drifts across the valley from foothills
and ash colours white shawls held over faces

a street trader silently offers his last fruit for sale
when evening comes he’ll give it as a gift to the gutter