We bought a rug in Tunisia
but they kidded us.
“I am your waiter – don’t you remember me?”
Cajoled onto his catacomb tour;
one thousand year eyes stared up at us.
“My friend’s shop is better value -
it is government controlled” he said.
So we descended cold stone
to the showroom below.
“This one is perfect
- and this one too…
This is the tree of life.”
“Should I take off my shoes?”
A top quality five knot twist
with no grounds to resist purchase.
So the suitcase got rammed with our rug;
heavy as their complicated history.
“Thank you for coming at this time”
the coach driver tannoyed,
“we appreciate your support.”
One year later that beach went global,
for all the wrong reasons.
I imagine their sea still laps;
their camels’ feign indifference
and insurgents still insurge
through Sousse to Syria.
And our real waiter,
who no doubt was a good man,
probably has no job.
But that wasn’t him.
Most days I tread the rug,
and the soles of my feet
wear delicate paths
those cunning unknown souls
neil armstrong 2016