Poetry

Goat on a Bike

A poem from NITRB interviewee Samantha Maw
Samantha Maw photo by Lindsey Cawrey. Picture credit for the ‘Goat on a Bike’ drawing to Laura Jones.

Last month, NITRB had the chance to interview poet Samantha Maw about her writing and the time she spent teaching in Uganda. Now, we bring you Goat on a Bike, a poetic exploration of emigration. ‘In Uganda, every day the strange and unexpected were ordinary,’ says Maw. ‘Returning to the UK, with its clear rules and ingrained manners, was the real culture shock.’

Goat on a bike

An undignified turkey

swinging

beady-eyed

upended

feathers dancing

in the breeze

37 trays of eggs

on her head held

steady with a

scarred hand

A clutch of children

unbound behind a boda

grinning fearlessly in

in the heat-soaked wind

A cackle of chickens 

scattering like marbles

across the 

orange dust

A confused tortoise 

airborne like a trophy

The seller hoping for a good price

The product dreaming of lettuce 

 and a safe, warm box

 A giant yellow bloom

of jerry cans banging

out a hollow tune

A woman walking

in her Sunday best

no shoes

A broad-chested man

with a Hello Kitty Jacket

and a Santa hat

playing pool under a

hot tin roof

All traffic ignoring the red

lights and the Puffa fish

law enforcers in their white 

jumpsuits and 

oversized black boots

Armchairs stacked high

on a pick-up

a suited recliner enjoying

the wind on his face

The Blessed Furniture Centre

The Alleluia Tea Room Amen

This strangeness suits me

wraps around my soul 

like I’ve returned home.

Samantha’s Radio Show Word Perfect is currently accepting commissions from writers. You can reach Samantha at smaw@sirenonline.co.uk

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