Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, March 11, 2012


[Note: the author taught English for two years in the Thai town of Nangrong – which means “Sit and Cry”]
by Burgess Needle
Saying goodbye to the town of Sit and Cry
One otherwise uneventful weekday
Except the students all turned out
            Girls in white blouses
            Boys in scout uniforms
And Headmaster Suraporn, of course, straight
            As a recent operation allowed
            To shake my hand with a dry palm
Eyes narrowed by too many mornings
            Facing the sun as the flag was raised
That open-sided bus waited for me once more
            As it had so many times for trips
            To Buriram, Korat or Surin
I wanted to pocket the scent
            Of kerosene wicks from every evening
Save the feel of my mosquito net brushing my face
The taste of ripe bananas sweetened
            With Carnation milk
Hear the temple gong reverberate
Hold an image of a nearby pond
            Nong Tamue beneath pink twilight
            With silhouettes of coconut palms
So sharp against the remaining sky they seemed
            To have been made of cut black paper
I departed as I arrived
            With a driver in blue uniform
            A monk by my side


  1. fine work and a treat to read

  2. Patricia R. NeedleMarch 11, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    beautiful imagery! Thank you!