Salt

Mick Canning

salt-workers

I should feel like an Egyptian pharaoh,

But I never had all that splendour.

Mine was such a short life,

And then I was mummified for the Hereafter.

There was never anyone to wait on me,

To bring me delicacies or fan away the flies.

You could not imagine Liz Taylor

Wanting to play my part in a film.

But I want you to take a moment or two,

To imagine that your feet and hands

Are permanently covered in cracks and crevices.

And to imagine the constant burning pain.

And contemplate now, the virtual blindness

That comes from seeing – day in and day out –

The bright sun reflected from the brilliant white

Of salt, from horizon to horizon.

And breathing, such a natural thing!

But even breathing was slowly killing me.

Coughing, spitting, rasping breath and breathlessness

And worse…

And when I died, they could not burn…

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