Our felucca tacked across the river Nile
to Aswan from Kitchener’s Island –
with its well watered botanical gardens
and its straight boulevards of tall palm trees –
gifted to Lord Kitchener of Khartoum,
pre Great War, as Egypt’s Consul-General.
As we approached the east bank, out of nowhere
it seemed, a boy appeared along side us
in a small zinc bath paddling with his hands
and singing, “‘Michael, row the boat ashore!
Hallelujah!’” – the old slave song learned then turned,