Sleeping Phoenix

People used to remain
in one place, on occasion
they would travel
with great anticipation,
preparation, their feet
close to the earth,
vibration of home
humming through wheels,
hooves, thunderous
revolutions carrying them
forward and backward, round
in circles of familiarity.

As I drive down the island highway
my mind is all over the place,
a different kind of mind, evolving
inevitably, irreversibly to meet
circumstance. A mind in many
places where my body is not
yet, or has left; backward
and forward in circles.

The car beside me in the ferry line up
is packed to the gills; a small dog
perches on top of all that stuff.
Men with masks and ear muffs
stand between lines of traffic,
waving us on; how many vehicles
crossing this water? Hum of engines
vibrate my body, sun beats, planes
streak the sky a blue canvas criss-
crossed with jet-streamers.

Last night I read a story
to a five year old Vietnamese
transplanted at four months.
She pointed out everything:
a suburban street, a red house,
children playing, parents at the window,
chicken on the table, boats in the harbour,
planes in the sky, friendly planes with
smiling pilots, a sickle moon pale
in a blue sky with invisible stars,
a city in the distance; and far away
another continent stretching into
the rest of the world, actual
and virtual simultaneously,
TV in the red house, playing.

The Vietnamese child accepts it all,
eats it like a ripe plum, juice runnelling
her brown belly, pooling in her navel.
Cord long cut and forgotten, memory
remains in her small body housing
five million eggs, a sleeping phoenix.

One day she will fly or rumble or speed home,
real or virtual, in mind or body, a child
transplanted to a world of perpetual motion.
For now she picnics with fellow adoptees,
fun shared, fate fêted.