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Battered cardboard suitcase
the last of its kind,
clutched firmly in bony hands,
he walks the walk of the dammned,
downhill, through winding streets,
avoiding garbage heaped on the roadsides,
and puddles of stagnant water,
pointers on the map
to the bus station sitting
in the heart of the busy marketplace.
Board the first available bus
heading over the hills
to the countryside,
away from contemptuous smiles
and envious, false friendship.
winding corners take him
past lush tropical fields,
brilliantly painted houses peeping
through their veils,
each one intimately known to him.
The aromas of spice mixed with animal dung
soon give way to the salty tang of the sea
the bus slews dangerously around the next three
and his town appears magically out of the haze.
pay the bus fee,
offload on shaky legs,
trudge uphill to the old house
not very far from the bus stop,
legs getting stronger with each step.