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The Tin Shack   ©

Lightning forks soundlessly through the starred and clouded sky
Wind shrieks through the desert hills
Stones and rocks stand monument
to nothing but the pass of time.
A tin shack stands empty on the sands
Silted on the Southern side
Open spaces for windows on the North
An opening for a door
that once was there.

Inside, the desert stony floor.

I shelter in it on my way
and wonder
who built this shack
would they tell me why.

Caravans used to go this way
not the trailer driven sort
but those with camels  as their wheels.
The centuries have rolled the years
Their wares of silks and spices Northwards
and dyes and cedars from Lebanon in return.
perhaps some Bedouin, or smugglers
cross the lines.
A tin shack stands lonely sentinel
perhaps some recent holder of the reins grew tired
why all the hurry scurry back and forth.
He would remain, a stop for others on the way.

The wind whistles round the shelter
finds every open space
yet the timbers onto which these corrugated tins
were fast
stood solid,
monument for a lasting stay
not ethereal
but built until the sands would run.

A howling wind blew round
no signs of life or living
just some patterns on the floor
where the winds had played.

Ezra Ben-Meir
History:        # 45.3 May 1996;          July 1999,  revised from 1980
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