first time in Sunshine Village
totem pole in the lobby
impossible in our skiing days
Maleeah seeing a lion face there

born in Toronto
raised in Johannesburg
first time skiing at 9 years old
ice kiss of confidence you and I never had

bringing back the trip to Fortress Mountain with your class
your vulnerability a revelation to my 14 year mind
struggling for balance on the T-Bar
Mr V. the brown teacher

I picture you driving these mountain roads over years
with and without us
observing the changes
unsettled lands resettled
spas condos bistros
playgrounds of the rich

conversations we will never have

near inverse of Moshi 2008
last mountain town we visited together
the flat where you lived in late teenage
still there
51 years later
streets where you and friends ate fried snacks with
palmfuls of chutney for pennies
never imagining
you would one day plant
a flag called Tanzania
at a peak called Uhuru

mountains are lands of the sky
in or near them I feel closer to you
my wish
you feel embraced
wherever you are
like I do by these sky-lands that once embraced you













Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash