memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Chukran, Baby


I’m in free fall,

Recoiling back through the years,

Reversing back down city-streets and moorland-valleys,

Retreating from various hypotheses and bifurcations,

Shunning burning-pits and blissful-heights alike

Until I land lightly on my feet.

I’m a cool twenty again,

Young, green and full of hope.


Annaba: my first job.

Skulking behind grey filing-cabinets

Yearning for her black hair, olive skin

And flashing almond-eyes.

We exchange averted glances,

But it’s just not on, old sport

Off limits, out-of-bounds

Strictly verboten.


Have to leave an hour early today,

J’ai Cour d’Arabe she explains,

Newly liberated from the hated French,

She’s being Arabised.

That’s cool, I think,

Chukran, baby.


Comments on: "Chukran, Baby" (2)

  1. I don’t know how I missed this poem. I love this for all that it makes me see and feel, and because it is succinct; amazing that it takes me so directly to people and places and feelings. ~ Lily


  2. I like this poem. I am sure you told me the story over a beer in Cascais one evening, many moons ago – before the war.


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