Sunday, March 13, 2011

T-shirts from America

T-shirts from America
dropped by container at the shore
sold en gros and shipped out –
sold as dead white man’s clothes.
In market, women in bright pagnas and
shirts with phrases like, “Johnson Reunion,” “Copperhill Little League,” and “I’m like you, Only Better!”
sort through the piles laid out on sturdy tarps (courtesy of aid organizations come and gone)
the keepers are soon gotten –
but there are mountains more where what came from.
Ironically I once even saw someone wearing my Alma matter.
How far it and I have come in the unpredictable transformations of life.
A man walks round with jeans folded on his head,
 and men’s shirts dangling on hangers in his hands -
Any takers?
A woman holds a bucket stacked like a giant Christmas tree of layered, flopped over socks –
 the world’s repository for missing socks?
Mobiles of sneakers,
hung by their laces from the tin ceiling,
decorate one shack - and another two doors down.
Articles of clothing, used, discarded, and forgotten
have found new, extended life on African shores.

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