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The Wanderer

They ask me at the city gates
Who I am -

May I say I am a flower fallen,
Withering in the dust,
Longing for the bough I was born on;

May I say I am a kite broken,
Plaything of the winds,
Longing for the string that held me;

May I say I am a son exiled,
To wander from shore to shore,
Longing for the soil that made me;

But the bough bears new blooms,
The string flies new kites,
My motherland has new sons;

All we can do is wander, drift, meander;

Can you, O city guards,
Give us a home to die in?

But all they can give us is a rubbish bin's
damp, smouldering fire. Thus must we -
The flower, the kite and I perish.

All they agree to do
Is scatter our ashes in the wind,
And in its ceaseless motion,
We find our graves.