The flight path on the screen
across the aisle is a green line
joining the dots from Manchester
through Amsterdam, Bucharest,
now Istanbul, now Baghdad.
Far below us the Tigris River seeps
like history from the Taurus Mountains.
Europe is an idea not a market
the French president is saying
on BBC World News though tomorrow
most news will be of stock market
fears, the depression of investment.
The prime minister of the UK
has just resigned, repeating
in his final words, as if at a funeral,
his love for his country.
The little plane on the map
is towing the bright green line
to the dot that is Basra.
Najur the Indian boy is four years old;
he offers me his crisps,
his blanket, his Scooby Doo show
on TV – everything he has.
He counts twenty in English,
then in Hindi and calls me aunty
tucking his mother’s and my knees
under his blanket.
The plastic fold-out table is littered
with plastic cups and plastic cutlery.
I think of Auden,
from his dive on Fifty-second Street
watching his world unfold.
An... Read more
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