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JoAnn Blatchley


joann blatchley readingOn the beach at Chennai

It was called Madras then,
fifty years ago when
my father steered the ship
around this lighthouse.

I asked him to bring me a sari,
not knowing it was just
a piece of cloth.
And he did.
Peacock blue with threads of gold.

JoAnn on the beachHere I stand on the beach at Chennai,
the white horse trots through the sand,
the beggar lady thrusts her infant into my face,
the turbaned merchant lays out his shells.

The tankers and freighters parade
in the shipping lane, today,
a half century ago.
My dad was here, lured
by the sea.

I walk into the waves, feeling the receding tide.

Chennai beach