A WISH THAT MAY FOREVER REMAIN A WISH
He scans the trays. Biscuits, sardines, custard, cereal, milk. This is the attraction of opposites. An empty stomach for a full tray.
He sees the tin of milk under the tray. His stomach tightens. Primeval instinct takes over. Predator and prey. A boy and a tin of milk.
The tin is waiting. His heart is racing.
The ground is no man’s land. As long as no one sees, it wouldn’t be stealing, technically. But the market is unpredictable, fluctuating in and out of the frequency of a lynching.
The tin is waiting.
No one has seen it. No one can see him. He has the vagrant’s gift of invisibility; only appearing when he enters people’s personal space and they are quick to shoo him away, to wish him away.
He ambles between stalls and trays, ignoring the tin, like a boy does to a girl on whom he has a crush. Closer. He enters the final act: rolling on the floor, pitching and staring and rolling again―the madness of hunger.
He lies in wait. He is so close he can touch it. No one has seen it. No one has seen him, not yet.
The tin of milk is waiting.
THIS IS HOME
This is my home, this shack of wood, roofing sheets and cloth, held up by stilts. When the tide comes rushing in, and when the rains come and make the sea swell, we would be safe above the murky dirty waters-thanks to the stilts.
This is my father’s canoe; long and strong. I am young, but I don’t find it hard to move it through the shore waters. I have been moving it for quite a while.
I like it here, with the rushing wind and the lapping waters. And we always have different kinds of fish to eat. But I don’t like the mosquitoes, or having to ration drinking water because we can’t drink the sea water.
My father always talks about making it, leaving the waterside for the mainland, and building his own house. Maybe, one day.
For now, this is home.